Juggling too many books at once?


Is there such a thing as too many books (at one time?)

Up until this year, I only read one book at a time (except for when in school, of course). It would take me 1-3 days for a great book to finish, depending on other life events/obligations. Reading only one book at a time allowed me to focus and dive deep into the story. This year I have discovered so many new authors, and I keep downloading books and starting them – but it is taking so much longer for me to finish a novel!

I have been too anxious to wait to finish one book before staring another, so I have anywhere between 3-10 books I am reading at any given time. And I just don’t think this is working for me. Not only does it take me FOREVER to finish reading one book, but I don’t find my reading experience as enjoyable. Reading multiple works means I lose focus on each individual story. I find myself going back and re-reading a lot to remind myself of the plot.

I think I need to go back to what I used to do. Don’t start a book until one is finished. How many of you are capable of reading multiple works? What are your thoughts on this?

In terms of writing, I am now struggling with working on two books at once. Although my first novel is simply running through the last stages of polishing with my editors—I am having a hard time diving deep into my next novel … and I am only working on the outline! I even find myself typing Kate (main character in Silenced Memories) instead of Ava (character in my new book). My brain has been focused on the characters from my last novel for 6+ months now, so it is almost strange to try to develop an attachment to my new characters (crazy, I know …). Maybe I should wait one more week until my book Silenced Memories is officially done before I become invested in my new plot?

I know a lot of writers who write multiple books at a time—I give you a lot of props, because it is a challenge for me. Any advice or strategies?

Thanks for reading about the oh-so complex problems of a reader and writer 🙂


By the way, if you haven’t had a chance – check out the list of authors (blog / pinterest) I have ‘electronically met’ through my blogging experience!!

24 thoughts on “Juggling too many books at once?

  1. I used to read multiple books at once until I couldn’t remember who did what and what did who. I also came to the conclusion that, for me, starting a new book before I was finished with the other simply meant I wasn’t that into the book.
    Since I’m finishing up my novel, I’m trying not to read too many books because I get distracted .
    I have started a few books in the past that remained unfinished that I plan on going back to and some that I’ve created in my head that I’m eager to get started on. But, I don’t want to rush my current work. I definitely don’t recommend starting more than one at a time unless you are super talented with organization and memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have the same problem with both reading and writing, too! I tend to download way too many samples of books that I keep meaning to get to and read but haven’t yet, and sometimes I will bounce around from novel idea to another novel idea in my head. It’s crazy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can easily accommodate reading several non-fiction books simultaneously, but I read only one novel at a time.

    As a pantser writer, my writing process is jumbled up, but I give one project almost all of my attention. My two works-in-progress take a lot of research, and they don’t cross over much, but if I get an idea for the second project, I’ll write what needs to be written for it, and then return to the main project.

    I never outline, anyway, but even if I did, I wouldn’t try to be that “organized” with a second project, if I was still “living” in the world of the first one. If you do feel like you’re struggling, give the second book a rest, and just take notes about it, in whatever order the ideas come to you, until you cross the finish line of the first book. You need that psychological closure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do read more than one book at a time fairly often, but not necessarily multiple works of fiction. I don’t think I’ve ever had more than three books on the go. The way I see it, reading multiple fictional works is a bit like watching a TV series that has a new episode every week – but without the ‘previously on’! It can be very easy to lose track of what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m guilty of doing that as well. I start a novel and then, a few pages in, I put it aside to start a new one. I have downloaded so many books on my iBooks and bought so many paperbacks, it’s getting out of control.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Brittney! My reading pattern seems to be similar to yours and I have to say that I too don’t find it quite the same as really tucking into one book at a time. My dilemma re writing more than one resonates too except that I have a publisher for an academic book (deadlines looming and keep procrastinating) but keep on wanting to get one with my own second book ! Crazy this since all we want to be published don’t we and I hope I don’t lose publisher because of it! Enjoying your posts!x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Brittney,
    I’ve been checking out your site since I am interested in self-publishing one day. You have helpful articles.
    I’m Janice. I’m glad you liked my article at Chris’s site about how to connect Twitter and your website. Pleased to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

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