On Read Street, we've been discussing this topic: Are you monogamous? Not that kind of monogamy — I mean reading habits. Do you read one book at a time? Or do you have two or more going at once — say, a novel, a nonfiction book and a collection of short stories?
Alison Morris, a Publishers Weekly blogger, has identified several species of polygamists. They include: the Whimsical, who dips in and out of multiple books at once; the Placebound, who reads several books simultaneously but each in its own locale -- at home, at work, on the subway; and the Noncompetitive, who reads one fiction book and one non-fiction book at the same time, or some similar combination.
I’m a one-book man. I like to focus, to get comfortable with the author’s pacing and language. And I want to keep track of the subtleties of a character, setting or plot. I may have a magazine article, comic piece or short story handy in case I only have a few minutes to read. But I prefer at least an hour of quiet — and one book.
Nancy, my blogging partner, flits among different books. As she says: "What if I’m not in the mood for the collection of political profiles I picked up a few days ago? Well, I just pick up the graphic novel about zombies. Or the Mexican crime novel. Or re-read Pride and Prejudice. Do I ever get confused or lose my place? Sure! But most of the time, it’s a system that works for me.
What are your reading habits — do you subscribe to Davidite monogamy or Nancyist polygamy?