Book Nerd Problems #25: I’m Cheating On My Book.. With More Books!

Posted September 18, 2014 by Debby in Book Nerd Problems, Discussions / 22 Comments

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.

#25. I’m Cheating On My Book.. With More Books!

Up until recently, I had always been a serial monogamist when it came to books. I would devote all my time reading one book until it was finished and then moved on to the next one. BUT. With so many September and October review copies which I wasn’t all enjoying… I’ve started… cheating on my books. GASP. I know.

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Now, I’m not saying that either book monogamy or book polygamy (if you will) is wrong. It’s whatever works for you. Previously, I was a book monogamist, mostly because of my reading speed. I’m not the fastest reader ever, and when I have a schedule that I try to keep up with, it’s just much easier to keep track of how long it’ll take me to finish a book if I’m only reading one at a time. That book’s 350 pages? Should take me 2-3 days. If you’re reading two books (or more) at a time, it’s harder. It’ll take you longer – but then you will finish two books around the same time (probably) – and in the end you’re still reading the same amount, just in parallel instead of in sequence.

I also feared that if I started reading multiple books at a time, it would be hard for me to keep track of what was happening in both books. Would I mix the two stories up? I’ve found that definitely not the case – but it does help when the two books I’m reading are of vastly different genres (i.e. fantasy vs. contemporary).

But on a slightly different note, my previous fear was also that by reading two books at the same time, I wouldn’t be as engaged in either story. You know, when you’re just sucked in, living and breathing that world. The thing is, I think I was waiting for every book to have that effect on me – but not every book does. Sometimes it’s easy to slip back in and out of a story – actually more often than not that’s the case. When I’m really engaged and sucked into a world, I’ll want to binge read the rest of the story, and then I’ll just do that. But sometimes the book is just not that great, and you actually need a break from it to recharge. (But okay, I do feel a tiny bit guilty about that.)

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But honestly, it does kind of feel like I’m cheating on my book. They can sense these things! Can’t they? I can just picture that book lying on my coffee table, seeing me with another book and thinking they weren’t good enough. They weren’t enough for me. THE SHAME. THE SHAME. I’M SO SORRY. I STILL LOVE YOU. I SWEAR. (UNLESS I REALLY DON’T. IN WHICH CASE. AWKWARD.)

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My Switch To “Polygamy”

So I’ve been working my way through my September and October ARCs, but sadly they just haven’t all been that excellent. Some are honestly just boring me. My previous strategy of “Push through every book as fast as you can, then maybe you can squeeze in a free read when you’re done,” wasn’t working too well. When I got stuck in a review book that was just too boring, I realized that I was putting off reading in general just so I wouldn’t have to go back to that book. A boring book was killing my desire to read, considering I didn’t give myself the flexibility to read anything else until I was done. (And we know how bad I am at DNFing.)

Most of the review books have also been the dense fantasy kind, which you’ll probably know doesn’t work too well for me, because I need light and fluffy reads on a regular basis – and now in particular, my need for fluffy is at an all time high (life is less than optimal atm). I realized that I was less and less enthused about these fantasy review books, and pushing through them wasn’t doing them any favors with regards to my opinions + ratings.

So I realized I could use my fluffy reads as a reward system. Okay, I started reading Miranda Kenneally‘s books (which are so fucking fantastic I can’t even) but it was threatening me getting behind on my review schedule because – so addictive CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP READING. So I finally thought – why not read them at the same time? For 100 pages of my review book, I can read 50 or so of my own fluffy read. (Some self-control required.) And it’s working magically! Even if my review book is boring, I’m managing to push through them so I can get to my fluffy fun reads, and overall it’s helped me shake off a looming reading slump. HOORAY!

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What I’m “Currently Reading”

Now I’m not saying that I’m making this a rule for myself and I will always have to read two books at a time and even if I’m really into my review book – that was scheduled fluffy fun read time, so get back in that corner and READ YOUR FUCKING BOOK DEBBY. *cough* I’m not. If I’m enjoying my review book, I can keep reading that – the faster the better. But I know now that I can give myself the flexibility of reading two books at the same time, and it actually tends to heighten my productivity and overall enjoyment. (Seriously though. I finished 4 books in 4 days. This works.)

For the foreseeable future, I’ll most likely be reading three books at a time: a review book, a fun book, and an audiobook (for chores, groceries, multitasking). After October, review copies will slow down and I dunno, I might have just fun books I choose for myself to read, so I might change again. But for now I’m excited to be getting to more of my fluffy reads which were otherwise on my humongous TBR for two weeks past never. Up soon:

Racing Savannah Finding It Past Perfect Lola and the Boy Next Door Attachments since you've been gone

Let’s Talk!

Are you a book monogamist or polygamist? Why? Does it help your productivity or make it harder? Are you able to switch back and forth between the books like me (somehow o_o), or do you get sucked into one of them and end up binge reading it?

Let me know in the comments!

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22 responses to “Book Nerd Problems #25: I’m Cheating On My Book.. With More Books!

  1. Oooo, I am the biggest book slut. I have, like, ten book wives at any moment. I think it’s because I’m such a mood reader, so I have to balance, like, reading what I want with what I NEED to read, so I make like a pool of books and go wherever the muses take me, and sometimes the muses want to jump around a bit, you know? Whatever, man. I don’t try to own the muses. THE MUSES OWN ME.

    This is the weirdest comment I’ve ever left and that’s saying something. Basically… I feel you? Excellent post is excellent. We are book cheaters.

    OOOH, and I also cheat on my review books with non-review books all the time. That’s me getting my muses in check. Like okay, I know you REALLY want to read a Richelle Mead book right now, so you get to swap between Adrianlines and this ARC SO LONG AS YOU ACTUALLY DO SWAP YA HEAR? Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate
    Gillian recently posted Review: Made for You by Melissa MarrMy Profile

    • TEN BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME. Oh my god Gillian. You are the master. *bows down* I am a mood reader, but I dunno, my completionist habit kind of keeps me in check there. But I love your muses hahahaha.

      Review books have been getting me down this month so much x_x all I want is to have the time to read the books on my shelf… but UGH. I think I will be cutting way down on review copies after this batch I currently have. Let the muses guide me from now on. xD

  2. I’m totally a polygamist also. I have set ways of reading though, so I don’t allow myself to go into just the one. I do find, though, that the ones that really suck you in will do it with a break too. At least, well, they do for me. I read Fangirl in like a chapter a day and it still completely sucked me in. Eh. It’s my way. I read less when I had to do one book at a time because a shitty book would stall me and I used to be terrible at DNFing.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted Cover Snark (120): The One with the Corn ChipsMy Profile

    • Haha, I love your crazy reading method xD That’s true, if a book really engages you, then it doesn’t matter if you’re reading something else as well – the effect will be the same every time you pick it up. I am learning things! Reading multiple books at the same time… DNFing… possibly. We will see how I get on with Exquisite Captive, lol.

  3. I hate the concept of polygamy but when it comes to books, I’m guilty. I start multiple books all the time. Some get slow but I refuse to DNF. I leave them there. In my mind I’m currently reading them (but really I’m not LOL) But I always intend to get back to them. Or so I tell myself. But lately I’m a tad more of a monogamist (but right now isn’t a good example–I’m actively reading three books xD). I’m just freaking out about mixing the details together :O Perhaps monogamy, overall, is just more suited to me…

    BUT FAB POST, DEBBY!
    Jess @MyReadingDress recently posted My Young Adult Kryptonite(s): Part OneMy Profile

  4. I am a book monogamist. I don’t like reading two books at the same time and when I do I usually find one of the two more interesting and discard the other one till I finished the one that was most interesting. I can only read more then one book at the same time when one of them is a non-fiction book or a roleplating rule book, because they don’t have a story like fiction books.

    I find it interesting you switched from monogamy to polygamy when it comes to books, although I do understand your statement that “I realized that I was putting off reading in general just so I wouldn’t have to go back to that book. A boring book was killing my desire to read” I had this a few times when I was reading a boring book as well, I just lose my desire to read in general. Usually this means I just have to put that book down or DNF it. I think that if I ever would read two books at the same time, they had to be vastly different genres, it just seems that would work better.
    Lola recently posted Lola’s Ramblings: Ten signs that I am not from the USMy Profile

  5. I’m definitely a reading polygamist. But not always for the same reasons as you, and not in the same way. Like you I usually have at least two books going at the same time – an audiobook and a print book. But sometimes, for whatever reason, I might have a third book going. It’s not often, but I will also start another book.

    Actually this happened this week. I was listening to my audiobook (Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga – SO FREAKING GOOD AND INTENSE) and reading a book which happened to be a review copy. Although I’m not in love with the review copy, it’s okay, and I don’t hate it. But a book came into to the library, and I just had to read it right that minute. So the review copy went on hold for about two days, so I could read and finish the new book (which was totally adorable!!!) and now I’m back with the review copy.

    There have been times where I would have a book that I kept at work to read on my 15 minute breaks, and then I would also have my audio and print books going. But for the last year I really haven’t had time to take a 15 minute break, so I haven’t been doing that.

    But I don’t really classify my books as review copies, fun books etc. I’m hoping all my books are fun somewhat, and if I don’t like them, then I don’t finish them. I don’t receive a lot of review copies, though, and I’ve gotten really selective on what I request. However, as a librarian, I do have a lot of leeway in not finishing a book. Publishers don’t seem to mind so much, because I am a librarian, and it’s still good for me to know a little bit about it and I can promote it in other ways.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted Review: Past Perfect by Leila SalesMy Profile

  6. I’m usually a book monogamist though as a kid I read multiple books at once all the time. Like you, I prefer to just power through and finish the book whether I’m super engaged or not. If I am, I’ll read 300 pages without blinking an eye and then I’m practically done anyway!

    My main exception is if I forget my book at work or in the car. I’ll usually pick a new book to start in that case since I have so many to read anyway, and then I’ll have a home and work read. It’s actually kind of nice! And I don’t get confused although I like your idea of very separate genres. Less chance of it that way.

    I will say I read 250 pages of a much anticipated 3rd book (adult book) and… I stopped. I think I want to go back to it? Eventually? I was looking forward to it for soooo long and it’s not bad per se but I’ve read a lot since then. So that must say something about it.

  7. Kimberly

    It’s so funny, because until the last year or so, I was a staunch book polygamist. I always had multiple books going at once and it never really bothered me. Then I volunteered to be on a state library committee and had to read 30 YA books in a month. It was brutal because, like you, I’m not the speediest of readers. (And half the books weren’t very good.) I basically just read one book after another and didn’t do anything else but go to work, eat and sleep.

    For some reason, since that month last fall, I haven’t really been able to read more than one book at a time. I just can’t seem to do it. I read one book straight through and then move on to the next one. Sometimes I start 3 or 4 books before settling on the one I actually want to read, but I very rarely complete more than one book at a time. The only exception is if I have an audiobook going, since I pretty much exclusively listen to those in my car.

    Sometimes I wish I could get back in the habit of reading more than one book at a time. But becoming a book monogamist hasn’t really impacted how many books I can finish, so I’m not all that bothered.

  8. Amber Elise

    Mwahaha you’re as bad as me now Debby, I’ve got seven books on my Currently Reading! But my Currently Reading is mostly “I don’t want to pick this one up again but then again I don’t want to DNF it.”

    Monogamy is boring, polygamy keeps it spicy! 🙂
    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  9. I used to be a book monogamist, but when I ran into boring books, I’d just not read because I didn’t feel like reading boring stuff. At the moment, I’ve got three books on the go: one YA novel, one MG collection of short stories, and one non-fiction memoir-type book. I haven’t gotten them mixed up yet!

    Sometimes I switch off, telling myself I have to read a certain number of pages or percentage of each book per day. Then I’m more likely to get through the books. This works especially well when I’m reading one book I’m not crazy about and another that I’m enjoying; I have to read some of the not-so-great book before I can have “dessert”!
    La Coccinelle recently posted Booking Through Thursday (34)My Profile

  10. I’m usually monogamist with books, if you don’t count audio book I listen while walking. I’m scared like you that story won’t pull me in or I’ll mixup the details… But lately I get stuck in review books that are killing my wish to read. Maybe I will try your reward system. But knowing me, I will just binge-read the book I like. 😀
    Dragana recently posted Book Review: Crown of Ice by Vicki L. WeavilMy Profile

  11. I’m more of a monogamist, I like to just get into one world and one story. Though I’ve been listening to an audiobook in the car lately, so that sort of counts… But that feels more like watching a tv series than reading an extra book somehow. As a kid I used to read 3 books at the same time, switching between them every time I came to the end of a chapter and that worked for me then, but I can’t imagine doing that right now.
    Glad to hear it works for you though 🙂
    Daisy recently posted Review of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

  12. I’ve always been a book cheater, haha. For some reason reading one book doesn’t work for me.. I really like being able to switch between books based on my mood. Most of the times I read three: a review copy, an e-book and a physical copy and I like to pick different genres as well. I never mix up the story lines and I don’t know, it just works better this way.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted 7 Deadly sins tag.My Profile

  13. I’ve always been a one book at a time person for pretty much the reasons you mention, but I have to admit, when it comes to review books, it may make sense to take breaks if I’m just not loving it. The longer I blog, the more review books I’m getting so I may have to try your system (although I do not like audiobooks). So I may have to try reading a review book and a fun book at the same time and see what happens. Great post!
    Pam@YA Escape from Reality recently posted Book Review: Trouble by Non PrattMy Profile

  14. You have completely put my thoughts into words! Yes! For most of my life, I have been a book monogamist. However, lately, with the review copies piling up and finding myself bored with some of them…I have been more willing to be a cheater lately. *Gasp* Maybe each book will never find out about the others!
    Sara recently posted {Book Review} Alias HookMy Profile

  15. I have this same issue when I start to favor one book over the other books (I use to read one at a time, but now I have a total of 3 to 4 books all at once).

    I feel super guilty when I go full out cheating. Like, go to the bookstore and shop for books while I have poor, lonely books waiting for me to return home.

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