Trust me, it’s not as tawdry as it sounds.
I was leaving Books-a-Million last week, newest book club selection in-hand, along with a promise to read a second book by the next time we met, and a verbal commitment to start reading the series, “A Song of Fire and Ice.” I calculated in my head that there was over 1,000 pages that I had to read in about twenty-one days. I’m not a fast reader, nor am I able to read for lengths of time before succumbing to drowsiness. I know I’m reading, but I’m still a poor showing as an English teacher. Excluding rereads for my assigned books, I maybe can get through ten new titles a year. What I’ve never tried to do was read multiple books at the same time. That’s when an old article, newly reposted, from Book Riot sparked my interest.
In a nutshell, organization is key and develop a system that works for you. Here’s how Swapna reads between four-to-six books at a time:
1. Choose a book that is easy to read and get into. For me, I’ll call these my “Sweatpants” books. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t meaningful or good. It means that you are able to easily fall into it, reading and reflecting on small increments at a time.
2. To feed your soul and capture the literary beauty of novels, choose a classic: an Atwood, a Bronte, a dead/white/male. You know, something that would have been assigned in college. Reading 50ish pages at a time is a hefty enough bite to allow the mind to savor and analyze.
3. In keeping with expanding the mind, considering new perspectives, toss in a nonfiction to keep you well-rounded and informed. Biographies, books of essays, or memoirs definitely counts in this genre. Again, 50 pages isn’t asking too much.
4. Finally, something she calls a “Chunkster. 100 pages of a 400+ page novel.” This where she really got me: A Game of Thrones!
Additionally, there are audiobooks and reading something on an e-reader. For me, I’ve never been good at paying attention to books-on-tape, but I can listen the hell out of a podcast. Almost all of my reading is done on an e-reader, so that doesn’t really support me going into a 6th layer of bringing in new knowledge.
So here’s the plan:
- Sweatpants: Haunted by ChuckPalahniuk
- Literary Fiction: “The Canterbury Tales” (I’ve read it before, but I’ve got to start rereading for the fall semester that’s coming up)
- Chunkster: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
- Bonus: The Dinner by Herman Koch – Book club book
I’ve read The Dinner before, and here is my review.