Reading fast and loose


Almost always, I have several books that I read at the same time. I realise this is anathema to many readers, who like to dwell and focus wholly on a single novel.

But I treat books a lot like other women treat lipgloss – I want one ready to use everywhere that I go. So one book in my bag, one or two at work to read at lunch, something on the coffee table and something reserved for long train journeys.

I will happily switch between three or four books at one time, reading whatever I feel most eager for at any particular time. Sometimes you’re not in the mood for serious science fiction, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely park the book – just intersperse it with something else from a different genre.

It’s quite rare for me to be reading only one book, and if it does happen it’s usually because the book is very fast-paced and I can finish it in one session. Otherwise variety is my preferred mode of reading, and means I can be reading constantly, regardless of mood and location.

Do you stick with one book until you’ve completely finished reading? What if you get bored, or distracted?