You Can’t Read Just One by Elizabeth Goddard

“You can’t eat just one.”

You remember that old Lay’s potato chip commercial, right? You might eat two or three more chips, or you might grab a handful and cram them in your mouth at the same time. That’s the more likely scenario. Now, hold that thought and think about the books you’re reading. Are you reading more than one book at the same time?

An avid reader growing up (no surprise there, I’m sure) I read in a linear fashion—one book, then another.  Because I had no responsibilities to speak of as a child, I would read all day long, or all night, until I finished reading that particular story.  Then I was onto the next book.

Nowadays I find myself reading several books at the same time. You know what I mean. I have a book on the nightstand next to my bed, another in the living room.  Several in my sitting room. I’ve started on them all and plan to finish, but depending on the mood I’m in, I might switch from one to another. I’m a quarter of the way through one, halfway through another. Several started on my Kindle.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Is that just a sign of the times? Multi-tasking? Or just one more way we’re training ourselves not to focus on one thing? Are we suffering from “cognitive overload” as this Wired Magazine article suggests?

I mentioned in my very first post that I had received The Queen by Steven James. Yes, I’m reading that one, and I’m also reading a science fiction ARC for one of my favorite scifi authors. I’m reading a romantic suspense, a historical and a women’s fiction for a friend.

At some point, I know the story will take over, and I’ll focus solely on the one book until I’m done.  Please tell me I’m not alone.

What are you reading concurrently?



Elizabeth Goddard is the award-winning author of seven contemporary romance novels and two novellas, including a romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. Elizabeth is a member of ACFW and has served as a board member in her local RWA chapter. She is a 7th generation Texan who lives in East Texas with her husband and four children. She and her family recently spent five years in Oregon, which serves as the setting for several of her novels, including Oregon Outback, releasing with Barbour Publishing in Spring 2012. Visit her on her Facebook Author page.

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6 Responses to You Can’t Read Just One by Elizabeth Goddard

  1. Absolutely, Beth! Though I do still try not to purchase potato chips because I eat the whole bag, if I place a book to be read in each room where I spend time, I find I can more easily put a book down and leave it there for more reading next time.


  2. I am reading several books too. I don’t know when I started reading like that. Right now I’m reading James Scott Bell’s ebook “Writing For All You’re Worth” (a good buy!), and I just finished “Thunder In The Morning Calm” by Don Brown, and just started “Falling To Pieces” by Vannetta Chapman.

    “Too many books, so little time.” I use my Kindle a lot now for reading, but I still love to hold paper, too.


  3. yvon63y says:

    My routine changes according to what I’m writing and doing, however right now in the mornings I’m reading the Bible through chronologically in one year. In the bathroom, I’m reading Tale of Two Cities because I find it difficult reading, although I love Dickens’ writing, but can’t take a lot of this at one time. During the day I’m reading research books, fiction and non-fiction and have been reading everything I could about the Titanic. At night I’m reading a historical romance.

    Sometimes I get caught up in a really great story and don’t want to put it down, so I let go of the others until I finish the page-turner.


  4. vickihinze says:

    You’re definitely not alone. 🙂 I read solely on the Kindle these days (where I can adjust the font), and I always have three or four books going. I read to mood and stay away from books like the ones I’m writing (so I don’t subliminally transfer and mess up the voice). Right now I’m in an American History and nonfiction cycle. Loving that.


  5. Eleanor Anders says:

    I’m right there with ya!


  6. juliearduini says:

    I have so many on the Kindle to read, I think I’m caught up on books to review, I’m reading for pleasure the Happy Intercessor…nope, I can’t read just one!


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