PolyReading : The Verdict
It’s been a month since I threw caution and sense out of the library window and embraced polyreading. My plan was to read Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’, Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’; Herman Melville’s ‘Moby-Dick’; Flora Thompson’s ‘Lark Rise’; P.G. Wodehouse’s ‘Hot Water’ and my next book group book – ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers simultaneously. So, how did I get on?
It was a total car crash. I spent more time faffing about deciding what to read than actually reading. Admittedly, that was an ambitious stack of books to try and time-manage, and I didn’t even make a start on ‘Moby-Dick’. The biggest frustration was that characters and plot would bleed between books and I’d forget where I’d got up to in each story. The whole thing was a mess.
When I’m pondering what posts to write, I spend a lot of time mulling over the ideas that arise from what I’ve been reading. The chaos of polyreading froze that process and left me with nothing. I may have had more books on the go, but overall I got less reading done what I did manage felt shallow and less satisfying.
Despite the failure of the experiment, I won’t be abandoning the system entirely. While jumping from one book to another is not going to work for me, I found I could manage two books just fine as long as one was site-specific. I can have one main book, plus another one specifically confined to the bath.