While I am a devoted and constant reader, I generally only read one book at a time. More precisely, I only read one novel at a time. If I’m reading many books simultaneously it’s because I’m wrapped up in a novel, and I’m casually reading one or more non-fiction books.
Novels are engaging and I love to lose myself in them. It’s harder to do when reading multiple works. I feel I can’t be fully present in the story with another one nagging at me. It takes away from the experience.
Non-fiction is different. It’s not an engaging story, and can usually be broken up into bite-sized pieces. Of course there are exceptions to this, and for those non-fiction books that read like novels, I treat them the same way as I do any other fiction- one at a time.
I know many people who operate differently, who like to juggle many stories at once. I suppose I could do this too, if I so chose. But why bother? For me, it would prevent fully immersing myself in any one novel. I would lose the escapist quality that is so seductive to me about reading fiction.
Please weigh in with your thoughts. One, or many? Why?