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Reading a few books at a time

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  • Reading a few books at a time

    I always read a few books at a time, one of which is novel and the others are essays and story collections. I used to try not to read a few novels at a time but while reading Piercy's Woman at the Edge of Time (quite a slowing reading for me), I prefered to read Ballard, Carroll, Iain Banks and reading "Woman at the Edge of Time" was put off. Then I realized it's not difficult to read two novels together - one at a time is better though
    http://soundandclouds.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I know I'm going to sound a little slow here, but I haven't read two (or more) books concurrently since I was at university... and I only did it then because I had to. It's not something I've ever been tempted to try since. I'm astounded by the rate which some posters in the other book threads seem to be getting through their libraries. I consider myself a "reader", but I tend to work through a book quite slowly and pull out quotes that make me laugh or strike me as interesting, to write in my journal... so it's hard to work up the motivation sometimes.

    I imagine that reading more than one book at a time leads to more interesting synchronicities, but I doubt I'll ever try it for myself.
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
      I imagine that reading more than one book at a time leads to more interesting synchronicities, but I doubt I'll ever try it for myself.
      This reminds me of a curious joke-thread that runs through
      Gأ¼nter Grass's first novel, Die Blechtommel. The protagonist,
      Oskar Matzerath (sp?), teaches himself to read with 2 books:
      Gأ¶the's Dictung und Wahrheit (an autobiography) and
      The Life of Rasputin. He sort of mixed the books together,
      and had the sensation of reading how the great, grave Gأ¶the
      would periodically flee Weimar and ride off to participate in orgies
      in St. Petersburg...

      Amusing thought. There's a synchronicity for you, of a sort...
      Conflating unlikely books in strange combinations can produce
      interesting results. I recall a joke list of such conflated books
      from a few years ago. My favorites were The Maltese Faulkner
      and Planet of the Grapes of Wrath. The pseudo-plot synopses
      tickled my sense of the absurd. :lol:

      LSN

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      • #4
        A Cure for Muzak at the End of Time?

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        • #5
          Heh. I was just reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christآ´s Childhood Pal (a humor novel by Christopher Moore; see my new thread) at the same time as I was reading How to Practice, by the Dalai Lama.

          Odd combination to be sure. :P
          "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
          --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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          • #6
            I guess I'm more comfortable reading one book at a time but occasionally read two if the subject matter differs widely. Don't think I've ever had more than two on the go.

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            • #7
              Well, I choose to read novels on buses or subway, they're usually easy ones to read outside but I read essays at home taking some notes, writing down important sentences.. It becomes somehow compulsory to read a few books at a time for me. If I drove work every day (never in İstanbul's traffic jam 8O ), I wouldn't read two or three..
              http://soundandclouds.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                I can generally manage a novel, occasional poems or short stories (for a change of mood) plus a non-fiction book. I haven't got them mixed up yet!
                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                • #9
                  yup, so do I. Except when it becomes impossible to close the damn book before I'm through it....

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                  • #10
                    Yeah I was reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman and a couple of weeks later I borowed From Hell (a graphic novel by Alan Moore) from the library and then a couple of weeks later I borowed The Skrayling Tree by MM so I was reading 3 books at once. This was the first time I'd done it and it wasn't too bad, I just had to read a lot. More recently I was reading Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons and I started reading the Time Dwelller by Mike because Fall of Hyperion was boring me to tears. I also read a lot of comics and watch alot of tv series so I'm used to following a lot of storylines at the same time. My advise is that if your reading something that seems boring or just plane crap is to read something else at the same time and you never know it might get better. If it dosen't get better then dump it like a hot potato or a cold tomato,

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                    • #11
                      Multiple book reading is a style that works for me: I always have a work of Literature for the foundation.

                      When I start to slow down due to difficult themes or language I usually pick up a sci-fi/fantasy novel in the middle. Or sometimes two when certain prolific authors -- MM!!!! -- publish something I wasn't expecting.

                      Then in the summer I might stack on a couple more for vacations when I need to break out of my usual patterns. Then I'll read current popular authors like Dan Brown or Anne Rice or other miscellany that are not on the usual agenda.

                      It's strange though... I might go half a year without finishing a book (Hey! I work for a living too!), but then I'll finish several at once. The down side is that there are many which I may never finish, though I can't really admit it to myself!

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                      • #12
                        I've got four on the go at the moment, and gawd knows how that's happened! I'm fourth-fifths the way through Roger Zelazny's 'The Chronicles Of Amber', just started the Jerry Cornelius stories and I'm also half way through 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell', but at the moment I'm reading 'Eragon' - it's a kids book, but hey it's got dragons in it and I can't resist books with dragons in them... very well written actually, and the author is only 21!!!!!!!! Bastard.

                        I think I'm having a break from 'Jonathan Strange...' because the book is huge and because I have a habit of falling asleep while I'm reading, and I'm a bit worried it will fall on my face and give me a pair of black eyes. I also like to read on the tube on the way to work, but most of the books I tend to buy are blinkin' big hardbacks, which breaks up my reading habits and creates the mountain of unfinished books beside my bed... Terrible really. I'll get to finishing them eventually!

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                        • #13
                          I've got four on the go at the moment, and gawd knows how that's happened! I'm fourth-fifths the way through Roger Zelazny's 'The Chronicles Of Amber', just started the Jerry Cornelius stories and I'm also half way through 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell', but at the moment I'm reading 'Eragon' - it's a kids book, but hey it's got dragons in it and I can't resist books with dragons in them... very well written actually, and the author is only 21!!!!!!!! Bastard.

                          I think I'm having a break from 'Jonathan Strange...' because the book is huge and because I have a habit of falling asleep while I'm reading, and I'm a bit worried it will fall on my face and give me a pair of black eyes. I also like to read on the tube on the way to work, but most of the books I tend to buy are blinkin' big hardbacks, which breaks up my reading habits and creates the mountain of unfinished books beside my bed... Terrible really. I'll get to finishing them eventually!

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                          • #14
                            What a terrific lineup!!!

                            Moorcock's Cornelius
                            Zelazny's Amber
                            Clarke's Strange & Norrell

                            I just finished S&N myself, and am utterly impressed. It may take a few chapters before the story starts heating up. I was hooked the moment magic was first performed at the Cathedral... and it only gets better. I don't have problems with open/unexplained endings, but I feel it was somewhat disjointed here -- but that still doesn't change my opinion.

                            Last night, in fact, I was wondering what Mr. Moorcock would think of S&N. Since he expresses disdain for Tolkien and admiration for Peake, Dickens, etc., I imagine he might like Clarke's work. If he ever comes around to Portland, Oregon I'll be sure to ask.

                            Here's what I'm reading:
                            Complete Poe
                            Peoples History Of America - Zinn
                            Prestige - Priest
                            Illearth War - Donaldson (I know he's a poor writer, but I enjoyed the story as a teenager and love the fantasybedtimehour.com site)

                            Another novel I've recently read is Light And Dark by MacLeod. This is another outstanding example of how Fantasy continues to mature. On the horizon: Light by Harrison and Perdido Street Station by Mieville.

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                            • #15
                              Well, thank you kindly :oops:

                              I have to say I'm enjoying them all. S&N is very interesting reading, the style it is written in, with all of the footnotes, is great! I'm glad to hear it gets even better, I'm very curious about how it will all turn out, especially with the Raven King. Took her ages to write it, apparently, which gives me hope, as I've been working on my present project for ages!! :lol:

                              I wonder what MM would think of it, actually. Perhaps we should suggest it to him on the Q&A thread! :D

                              'Light and Dark' eh? Sounds good, I've heard a few people recommend that. Another one to add to the pile!

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