8 Tips for Reading Multiple Books at a Time

© Thought Catalogue

One of my resolutions this year was to build the habit of reading multiple books at a time to quickly go through my TBR pile. I love reading books (no surprises there) but reading many books at the same time was not a method that I had adopted previously. However, I am open to experimenting and understanding what my style of reading is and here are my top tips to know before you jump into reading more than one book. ¡Ahí vamos!


1. Start small
2. Read different genres
3. Track progress through visual methods
4. Use a variety of mediums to read
5. Set deadlines
6. Find a reading buddy or TBR twin
7. Do not overwhelm yourself with too many choices
8. Enjoy the process of reading

1. Start small

If you do not read frequently and straightway dive into more than, let’s say, two books – you will overwhelm yourself. I usually can pace well with 2-3 books, but I wanted to double it up, so I targeted to read 6 books a month. Not only did it make my reading speed slow, I constantly felt like I had to catch up with 6 different books and there was no schedule in place to put a set amount of time or pages which ended up causing me discomfort. So, the maximum that I can read is 4 books a month.

2. Read different genres (preferably those that you already enjoy)

Reading books from different genres ensures that you remember the plot of the story or content without getting confused halfway. For example – if you like reading fantasy novels, read one or two fantasy novels with another genre, such as self-help, mystery, non-fiction, etc. The goal is to not only read books but to retain what you have read for a longer period.

3.  Track progress through visual methods

I love Goodreads for the very reason that I can see my progress clearly under Currently Reading. Tracking your progress may sound extra work, but it helps in motivating you to complete reading the book. I also use Trello which has more detailed features to track and put deadlines and checklists. Keep it simple would be my mantra while tracking.

A screenshot of my progress on Trello

4. Use a variety of mediums to read

It is a good idea to read paperback, hardback, e-book and audiobook which maintains a variety in your reading experience. I prefer reading self-help books as an audiobook, non-fiction as an eBook and fiction as a physical copy. If you are not comfortable or prefer sticking to one form of medium to read, all praise to you. The last thing we want is to turn reading into a chore.

5. Set deadlines

Okay, so this may or may not work for you. Putting deadlines here is not to give you anxiety but to work as an indicator. Some books are dense in their content, or the pages are 400 plus, or it can be a small book of essays or poems. Whatever type of book you pick to read, try keeping an approximate number of days to finish that book. If you are not able to, do not beat yourself over it. Get an extension and pat yourself for how much you have been able to complete. Think of it like loaning from a library where you have to return after set number of days (I miss good old library cards).

6. Find a reading buddy or TBR twin

I occasionally participate in TBR Twins or ask a friend to read with me. Not only you get to motivate each other, but you can discuss your likes and dislikes about the book. So thumbs up if you already are in a book club or have a TBR twin hunting for your next read!

7. Do not overwhelm yourself with too many choices

Personally, when I started picking up pace reading many books, I struggled with choosing books!

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A screenshot of my Currently Reading list on Goodreads

How to avoid decision making fatigue? Just choose set number of books to finish and do not start reading other books until you finish those you are supposed to. I am still working on this point specifically and would like to cut down to 4 books per month to keep me sane.

8. Enjoy the process of reading

Most importantly, understand that increasing your reading capacity is like any other skill that needs time, practise, and patience to improve. If you start today and be consistent – sky is the limit. I have seen people have 100 plus books as their to-read target for a year, and I have personally set my target to 24 books this year. So far, I am happy about my progress. If you keep the target of 4 or 50, it does not matter as long as you enjoy what you read.

I hope these tips will help you in trying your hand at reading more books or improve your record of reading x number of books per year. Either way, let me know what is your style of reading – do you prefer reading one at a time or dive in for as many books as possible?

Thank you so much for reading this post. Cheers!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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A closet writer with a knack for adding vivid, witty & personal details. I love coffee, books and food. Highly appreciate lo-fi music and illustrations. Borderline obsessed with stationery, productivity and organisation tools. Always in search of adventures & stories by travelling or being buried in books. Current Status ↠ Striving to finish my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge. Life Goals ↠ Spark conversations, ideas & inspiration with a cup of mild roasted black coffee.

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