Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Weekly Poll 1/20/10: Reading More than One Book at a Time
Long before I took an unscheduled break from my blog (in other words, before not having a schedule during my break between semesters made me forget to do anything productive at all), I asked my readers how many books they typically read at one time.
I had asked the question because I used to be a staunch believer in starting a book and reading it until I finished it before opening another book. (This policy only counted for "fun" books and not required academic reading.) That had been my policy until about a year ago when I started a book I liked but didn't like enough to have it as my sole reading choice. Okay, and because I was too lazy to go downstairs to get the book I was reading when I had a bookshelf full of unread books right in front of me. I then had an "upstairs" book and a "downstairs" book. I would read one in the mornings (the "downstairs" book) and one in the evenings before going to bed (the "upstairs" book). Since we moved to a one-story apartment, I no longer have that excuse of being too lazy. Somehow in the midst of reading more than one book at a time, I got addicted. I liked having a choice. I liked knowing that I could read a few minutes out of one book before moving on to another book simply because I felt like it. Before I had become a multiple-book-reader, I thought that reading more than one book at a time would take away from my 'joie de lire.' I thought that I'd forget something important about the story or get the characters confused or ... I'm not exactly sure what I thought would happen. Just something negative.
I've found the opposite to be true of my reading experience, though; I've found that reading more than one book at a time forces me to make connections among the materials I'm reading. I start to see patterns in characters' behaviors, word choices, dialogue, and writing styles because the differing authors' writings are fresh in my mind as I go from book to book. I've found that I'm enjoying the books I like more and not feeling as pressured to finish the books I don't enjoy. It has increased the fun factor of reading for me.
You may be wondering what kind of responses I got for the poll. I only got one response, and that response was that the voter typically read three or more books at a time--a fellow multiple-book-reader. I blame the low vote count on my inability to stick to a consistent schedule for posting (one of the major no-nos of blogging if you intend to maintain a following), and so I'm renewing my commitment to this blog.
And with that, I've posted the next weekly poll question in the left-hand sidebar: What is your favorite way to connect with other readers? I look forward to seeing your responses and talking about connecting with other readers next Wednesday. Until then ...
Happy reading and voting on the weekly poll!