Normally the trains of my attention span travel on several simultaneous tracks, but when it comes to reading novels or lengthy non-fiction I generally have a very straightforward forcus: I will only read ONE BOOK AT A TIME.
Exceptions to this rule are books of poetry, graphic novels, and audio books. I can and do stop these midstream and go back to them again without feeling they interfere with the "other book" I’m currently reading. But woe be to any printed book written in prose form if I happen to put it down and start another book of the same type, as the odds of my ever returning to the original are painfully, unaccountably small.
I can’t tell you why this is, because I don’t actually understand it. For whatever reason, though, when it comes to reading I am a Serial Monogamist. Which I know many of you reading this are NOT!
So… what type of reader ARE you?
To get you thinking about this, I’ve listed a few of the different types of readers I’ve observed.
1. The Whimsical Polygamist: you dip in and out of multiple books at once — whichever strikes your fancy or fits your whim anytime, anyplace.
2. The Placebound Polygamist: you read multiple books simultaneously but each in its own locale — say, you’ve always got one book you’re reading at home, one you reserve for your workplace lunch break, and another that’s the sole domain of your subway ride.
3. The Noncompetitive Polygamist: at any one time you are reading one fiction book and one non-fiction book, or some similar combination of multiple books that does not involve reading two books of the same type at the same time.
Any of these fit the bill? Know of other types I haven’t listed here? Please tell!