We should start seeing other people

That’s what polyreading feels like to me. It’s like cheating. And mental illness – all of those voices in your head, all at once. All of them.

When I read Lucy’s recent post about having multiple books on the go, I was horrified. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything actually morally degenerate about polyreading, it just doesn’t fit with my reading experience at all. I usually get so immersed in a book that I forget I have a life and responsibilities. I struggle to remember to walk the dog, do the washing, feed the children, so the thought of juggling with extra books, well, that just sounds cuckoo to me.

It’s like friendship. I love meeting up with friends individually, but if I walk into a room full of people I know, it overwhelms me. Choosing who to talk to first, worrying about missing someone out, it’s all too stressful and I’d rather just go home. So, I just don’t understand why anyone would choose to do that with books. However, reading the comments on Lucy’s post, it appears that many people do. One woman/one book has given way to rampant fictional flirting.

I’m perfectly happy with mono-reading, but I’ll admit, my curiosity has been piqued by all this. So as an experiment, I’m committing to polyreading for a month to see how it works switching books about depending on my mood.

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This is March’s polyreading book stack

This pile is one volume short, as I won’t know what my next bookgroup book is until next Friday. That’ll be the only one that absolutely has to be finished by the end of the month though. Despite my misgivings, when I look at those titles, I can already see one benefit of reading this way. Ploughing through ‘Moby Dick’ will take a busload of perseverence, so being able to punctuate the Melville gloom with little rays of P.G.Wodehouse sunshine does sound appealing. It’s decidedly unlikely, but who knows, I may yet be converted.

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