Reading Too Much = Not Reading Enough

Do you ever find yourself just completely inundated and overwhelmed with what you’re reading? Not that you’re not enjoying every last book that you’re reading, but that the problem is that you’re just reading too damn much? I never used to have this problem. I used to be a one book kind of guy. But now I find that I can’t stay faithful to my “current read”. I have to admit that not only do my eyes wander to other books, but I actually indulge in reading other books while I should only be reading the one. And what this adds up to is never being able to finish a book. Right now I’m in the middle of um…four books and I’m seriously finding it hard to not start another two. But I’ve promised myself that I’m not starting anymore books right now! Pay no attention to that “Currently Reading” tab on my sidebar. It’s a lie.

Like I said, I was never like this before. The idea of reading more than one book at a time was alien to me! But now, it’s turned into a system. My system works like this:

A library book: Currently nothing going on right now from the library, though I do have the fifth volume of the Sandman checked out and it’s really hard for me not to start it!

A book of fiction that I own: Right now my current fiction book is Stories edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. Now this could also fall into another category that I’ll occasionally allow myself which is a “short story” category. But I don’t always have a short story collection going on. Anyway, this is an incredible collection so far!!!

A non-fiction book: I actually have two of these going right now :/ One is Don’t Tell: The Sexual Abuse of Boys by Michel Dorais. I’ve been reading this one for quite some time now and I just dip in and out of it. It’s the best book that I’ve read on the topic really. It goes into victim stories as well as educates on the topic. The other book I’m reading is Love’s Executioner by Irvin Yalom and I’m absolutely loving this book!! Yalom is one of my all time favorite therapists and this is a collection of stories from his own work.

A Nook Book: This is a new category to me but it’s one I love! I haven’t done a review of the Nook yet, but I love it to death. I never thought I’d be an ereader fan, but this thing is just incredible. And right now I’m reading Middlemarch by George Elliot on it for Nymeth’s readalong. It’s slow going reading for me, but I am really enjoying it.

So yeah…lots of reading, but NOTHING getting finished. Am I alone in this problem or is this more widespread than I think? At the very least, I thought I’d let everyone know why you haven’t seen any reviews from me in a long time :p It’s because I can’t finish anything!! I just keep starting more :/


20 Responses

  1. I’m a one book person.. I think you will find that “later in life” if one did what you are doing now that each time they picked up “another book” they’d have to beging over as they’d forget what they read in that particular book!
    I don’t know how you do it!
    I”m glad you are enjoying your nookbook

  2. LOL…You KNOW you’re not alone!!! As soon as I read the title of your post, I burst out laughing because I knew just what you were talking about. Because yes, of course, you’re also describing me! It drives me freakin’ bonkers, but I can’t seem to change my ways. My advice: Go ahead and just start The Sandman volume! (Some help I am, huh? πŸ˜› )

  3. I used to have that problem, but at one point, having 5 going along at once, I sort of freaked out and got all weird for awhile, and since then I’ve been (mostly) good to only have 1-2 going at a time. It feels good to get back in that pattern actually!

  4. I am not suprised your reading other books with Middlemarch. With long, dense books like that, I like to read other books too. I am usually reading no more than two books though. Like now, I am reading Brothers Karamazov for Jill and Trish’s read-along but I will definitely be reading other stuff too.

  5. OMG dude, I have like 6 books going, which is unheardof in my house! I JUST god Stories from the library and I’m dying to add it to the mix, but I MUST finish something or give up on something or SOMETHING first! It looks sooooo yummy.

    And congrats on getting into Middlemarch. I tried that sucker and could NOT get into it.

    In other news, I picked my first tomato and okra last night!!! Woot! πŸ™‚

  6. I understand this problem pretty well except that I do get to finish my reads, most of the times πŸ™‚ Or sometimes, until I latch onto a new book πŸ˜› I guess it’s a matter of timing, rather of making time. Like I know I’m in various stages of the narrative in at least three books now but given a window I’ll just pick one and let the time and pages pass by πŸ™‚

  7. Like you, I was a one book devotee. And then I became a book blogger. And so many books looked SO good. And (And, and, and, and, and…)

    I’m down to one book that I’m reading now if you don’t count the essays of Anais Nin. πŸ˜›

    (Plus I love Yalom too. He’s who we focused on in my Group Therapy class in grad school).

  8. I used to read a bunch of books at a time, but this year I have only been reading one at a time.

  9. Oh, you’re definitely not alone. I always read 7 books at one time, and have done since I was a little girl. The only time I can’t do that is when I read contemporary and deconstructionist texts. In grad school, I told one of my professors about how I’ve always read many books at once, but couldn’t do that with books such as those written by Salman Rushdie. My professor told me that made sense, because there are so many splintered tales in these novels, that it kept me engaged. Interesting thought.

    Now, I can read one at a time, but if I do that, I have to read it in one sitting. Yes, sick. I don’t know what my deal is. I do settle into the one book by the time I hit about the lat 100 pages or so, but I can’t until then.

    See, it could be worse! πŸ™‚

  10. I have this problem. Sometimes I realize I’ve been reading four or five books for ages and am nowhere near finished with any of them. If I notice, I try to focus on finishing at least one of them so my blog won’t fall silent; but sometimes I don’t notice at all, and then I finish all of them within a few days of each other and have a sudden massive review backlog.

  11. I justed posted about something similar actually! I usually have two or three books going at once. Right now I have a fiction and a nonfiction and I’m about to start another fiction. I like your system, but I totally understand feeling like your finishing nothing! That’s when I usually hunker down and only read one for a while. Then I feel better!

  12. Jenny, I do that too! I’ll have a bunch going and then all of the sudden finish a couple books.

  13. ANOTHER NOOK OWNER!!!! Muah muah muah muah! Sorry, I just get so excited when I find another kindred. lol

    I’m reading The Passage on mine right now, and it’s certainly the longest digital book I’ve tackled.

    I used to be a one book at a time kind of girl, but no more. Most of the time. I hate not finishing anything so that’s the only thing that keeps me in line most of the time.

  14. I definitely understand! A few weeks ago I was really overwhelmed. (I was trying to read Armadale, Anna Karenina, and Pamela!) I think I had ten books going all at once. I’ve kept things calmed down a bit the last week–I think I just have five. πŸ™‚

  15. Deslily, I’m already at that point :p I find myself having to go back and reread a few pages just to know what’s going on in a book I left off on :p I’m loving my nook!

    Debi, I know I’m in good company with you πŸ˜‰ And I should’ve known that you would tell me just to start Sandman 5. I actually just got another book in the mail today and I was so close to starting it. I actually DID read the intro to it :/ But I put it aside, lol. I can usually change my ways for a couple of weeks, but not for long.

    Amanda, I’m totally freaking out right now but it’s not helping me any, lol. I thought maybe writing this post would help, but so far no :p What I have been doing is just sticking to one book. Right now, I’m just reading Stories…well, I’m reading Love’s Executioner when I have time at work too..but that’s it!

    Stephanie, Yeah, if I just read Middlemarch, I’d feel like I never got anything accomplished. I feel like I’m going to be reading that book until the end of the year! And I very well may be, lol.

    Heather, SIX books?! OMG, you make me feel so much better! LOL…I’ll give you a warning and tell you not to start Stories! If you do, you won’t be able to put it down. It’s such a good book so far. One of the best short story collections I’ve read. Congrats for your tomatoes and okra πŸ˜€ Sadly I had to give up on my tomatoes 😦 It’s too hot for them, but we’re getting okra like crazy! Aren’t the flowers beautiful on the okra? I’ve just been chopping mine up and freezing them as I get them until I get enough to do something with them!

    Lightheaded, That’s totally my plan for right now! I have GOT to start finishing some of these books :p So I’m going to start just sticking to one of them and finishing them. Reading twenty pages of each a day just isn’t working, lol. I’m never going to get them finished that way!

    Christina, Totally! Book blogging has ruined me. There are just too many good books out there 😦 It’s like we all just try to cram in as many as possible. I seriously have another three right now that I can’t wait to start. Like immediately. And isn’t Yalom awesome? πŸ˜€ Have you read Love’s Executioner? It’s SO GOOD!

    Kailana, I need you to remind me how to do that because I’m a total fail at that right now 😦

    Becky, SEVEN?! guys are just making me feel better and better :p Yes, I suppose it could be worse. I have to thank you for putting things in context there πŸ˜‰ I think I’d have a total anxiety disorder if I were reading 7 books at any given time :p

    Jenny, Same here!! I noticed this when all of a sudden the end of June came and I had only read 3 books :/ But I knew I had been reading! And then I realized that was because I was in the middle of 4 sizeable books…so I’ll likely have a decent page count for July!

    Lu, Yeah, I can’t have TOO many different kind of books going on at once :p They have to fall into some sort of system or else I totally get screwed up :p You see, there’s order to my chaos. I really do need to just hunker down and read one! This weekend needs to be a reading weekend.

    Andi, OMG I love my Nook SOOOOOOO much!! I’ve become obsessed with it and never thought I would be. I got it in May for my bday. I just downloaded a sample of the Passage on it a few weeks ago, but haven’t read it yet. I’ll see if I like it. Middlemarch is the longest eBook I’ve tackled :p It’s pretty damn long!

    Becky, Yeah! I saw on your blog what you were reading and thought you were nuts, lol. I don’t know how you read as much as you do!! Especially when I saw that you read Anna Karenina in the mix of all that! LOL. “Just five”…I love it πŸ˜›

  16. I usually have anywhere from 3-6 books balanced at one time, but lately I’ve had the opposite problem. I can only focus on one book. I don’t know if either way is better than the other, but I really prefer to read a bunch at once because that’s just what I’m used to.

  17. Yeah right, like you’re alone in this problem. Preblogging I read two books at a time — one print, one audio. I started each and read through to the end or decided the book wasn’t for me and moved on. Now I have books all over the house with markers in them. I start to look through, I read the first few chapters, I think I’m going to stick with it . . . then a case of book ADD sets in and I must, must, must open that other book and just take a peak. Sigh. At least I’m still finishing books…

  18. I’m a one book at a time kinda gal. Well, kinda. I do often have more than one book going at a time, but they would be of completely different types such as a novel and short stories and a non-fiction book. The novel and short stories would also have to be different enough so that I don’t start confusing characters and plots. I do experience the “siren call” of the books I’m not reading though. Sometimes I feel like a faithless lover to the book I’m currently reading as I “eyeball” something else sitting on my TBR pile.

  19. I’m pretty good about sticking to one novel at a time, but nonfiction is another matter. I’ve been reading a travel guide on New Zealand pubs for a while now, plus an interior design book that I could not resist starting, and I fully intend to have an audiobook on the go as soon as the library tells me it’s available for download. Plus, I’ve got my eye on an essay collection I saw at the library the other day, and I think I might like to dip into a poetry anthology or two…

  20. I’m strictly a 1/2 book girl. I may, on rare occasion venture itto the 3-4 mark when I’m truly reluctant to pick up a bit. And possibly also today when it’s just too hot to concentrate on one story for very long. (I read 200 pages or so today, though! Granted, of two different books, but even so.)

    The first is “The Tale of Genji” which is a difficult book for me to read because my attention span just won’t focus on it. (I’m supposed to be reading it along with a friend of mine, but I’m hopelessly behind. It’s only stubborn pride that’s keeping me reading. I will not be defeated!)

    The second is “Voodoo Dreams” which isn’t as awesome as “Voodoo Season” (because I hate the pov-jumping going on), but, yeah, really, really good so far. I just can’t concentrate enough on it and am itching to start something else because apparently I’m not in the mood for it after all. I have no idea what I’m in the mood for… *sigh*

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