Posted on April 23, 2019 at 10:00 AM by Guest Author

Are you nervous about picking up another book? Don’t be!

Discover the many great benefits of reading multiple books at once. 

Table of Contents

Why It’s Worth Reading Multiple Books at Once

“So many books, so little time.”

— Frank Zappa

Back in 2010, Google Books attempted to calculate the total number of published books.

After cross-referencing records from hundreds of providers, removing duplicates, and discarding non-book entries, the number they came up with was roughly 130,000,000. 


Of course, this was nearly 10 years ago. And Google Books didn’t take into account self-published e-books, as these works aren’t required to have ISBNs.

Therefore, it’s safe to assume that number is significantly higher today.

For the avid reader, this presents something of a dilemma. On one hand, having so many books available to you means there’s no shortage of reading material.

On the other hand, there’s no way you could get through that many titles in your lifetime, especially since new books are being published every day…

However, this does introduce an opportunity you may not be taking advantage of now: reading multiple books at once.

If you’re currently taking it one book at a time, you’ll likely miss out on a number of great works.

Sure, even someone with a wide-open schedule and the ability to speed-read couldn’t tackle every single book out there, but by increasing the number of books you consume at one time, you can actually get more out of your favorite pastime than you ever thought possible. 

Here are a few benefits of reading multiple books at once you may not be aware of…

Exposure to a Variety of Genres

When you read one book at a time, you’re limited to one particular genre and story.

However, when you switch to reading multiple books at once, you get to experience a wider variety, which can actually make reading easier and more enjoyable!

Let’s be honest—at one time or another, we’ve all struggled to get through a book. 

A technical book that confused you with unfamiliar jargon…

A dark piece of fiction that left you feeling troubled…

A “must-read” recommended by a friend that you just couldn’t connect with…

In such cases, you tend to feel as though you have to “power through,” even when you’re filled with a sense of dread as soon as you pick up the book.

However, by reading multiple books at once, you give yourself a break from the more difficult or less exciting works you’ve chosen. 

As a result, you’re more likely to actually finish what you’re reading instead of allowing it to collect dust on your nightstand…

Opportunity to Experience Different Mediums

Another advantage to reading multiple books at once is that you’re not restricted to a single medium. 

You can tackle an audiobook on your way to work, devour an e-book on your lunch break, and curl up with a paperback before you go to bed. 

Variety doesn’t just apply to genres — it applies to formats too.

By reading several books that vary in medium, you can change up the way you experience the written word. And, in the case of audiobooks, you can give your eyes a rest without hitting pause on reading altogether.  

Plus, adding some variety with regard to reading format means you’ll probably wind up finishing your books much faster!

Chance to Deepen Knowledge

When reading multiple books at once, some people opt for works that relate to one another; others prefer to bounce between books that couldn’t be more different. 

Regardless of which approach you like best, you’ll find that consuming several works at one time offers the chance to deepen your knowledge in a wide range of subjects. 

If you stick to books that revolve around the same theme or setting, you can often glean context from one that helps you understand another better.

For example, reading a nonfiction book about the Victorian era can provide a historical framework to use while also reading Jane Eyre, which may prove helpful in figuring out why characters act a certain way. 

If you select two or more completely different books, you may be surprised at the connections you can make.

For instance, if you happen to be reading a science fiction novel that features an intergalactic opera singer, perusing a biography of Giuseppe Verdi at the same time will allow you experience that “Aha!” moment when the former work introduces a term such as cabaletta. 

Oftentimes it’s just fun to form links between seemingly unrelated books.

Reading about a person, concept, or location in one book and then spotting a reference to it in another can be exciting!

And as a result, your experience will be richer and more fulfilling. 

Ability to Enjoy All Benefits of Reading

Reading is a fantastic activity that allows you to learn and grow. And by reading multiple books at once, you can reap all the benefits this pastime provides. 

If you want to further your education, you can pick up a scientific journal, historical text, or virtually any other nonfiction work. 

If you want to feel inspired, you can grab a self-help book or autobiography from someone you admire.

If you want to explore the world without leaving the comfort of home, you can open up a travel book or a novel set in some faraway place. 

The possibilities are truly endless, and when you have several books on hand, you never have to settle. Instead, you can go on whatever journey and experience whatever feeling you want! 

Quicker Reduction of TBR List

Like most bibliophiles, you undoubtedly have a large stack (or an entire virtual shelf) of books to be read. And with each trip to the bookstore, library, or e-book marketplace, that pile grows larger…

Fortunately, reading multiple books at once allows you to cut down your TBR list much faster than by reading one at a time. 

As previously mentioned, when you’re struggling to make your way through a difficult text, it may take months before you finally finish.

But when you expand your reading list and give yourself a break, you’re more likely to come back to it with fresh eyes and a new appreciation. 

And you know that satisfaction you get when you finish a book? Imagine it multiplied!


There are millions of books out there right now (and plenty more to come). Doesn’t it make sense to open yourself up to new ways of reading so you can experience as many as possible?

Reading multiple books at once allows you to do just that. Plus, this approach offers a number of benefits you may not have even realized.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab that second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) book and get to reading!

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Reading

Soham, seldom am I more inspired by a comment than an article! Although I detect your comment was at least somewhat (perhaps completely) facetious, my propensity toward the self help genre has had me grapple with the conundrum you’ve pointed out for YEARS! However, I finally feel like I am on the right track after reading Mortimer J. Adler and Charles van Doren’s book, “How to Read a Book”. In the chapter titled “How to Be a Demanding Reader”, the authors discuss creating a personal index at the completion of a book. I’ve tried this with a couple of nonfiction, self-help books and I highly recommend this book and technique! Thanks to the guest author for a compelling & persuading argument for reading multiple books at once!
Tami | 2/13/21 at 10:04 AM
It's great that I read this article. A great approach to consume books faster. I would like you to write a blog on how to remember what you have read forever from a self-help book
Soham Chikane | 1/25/21 at 4:33 AM
Add Comment

* Indicates a required field