Anyone who’s studied English in college or graduate school knows the struggle of reading more than one book at a time; story lines can become jumbled and characters misplaced, or one book can end up feeling like a chore because another is more interesting. However, I submit to you that juggling multiple books can be a good thing; here’s why:
1. You need an escape
Do you use mass transit for your morning/evening commute? Do you work in cubicle purgatory? Snagging a few minutes to read on your lunch break or immersing yourself in a good book on your commute can take you away from the annoyances of daily life. A good piece of fiction is ideal here; it’s something that can quickly draw you in and take you away from whatever idle moments you’re dealing with, whether it be on the train or bus, at lunch in the office, or waiting for the doctor. These moments beg for escape, and a good novel in your bag or on your tablet can provide that much-needed respite.
2. You need an education
Learning shouldn’t end when you graduate; we live in a big, big world, and you should definitely take time to learn from it. I recommend some nonfiction for this. It may be a biography, a book about a historic event, or something to teach you a new hobby or skill, but it should be a book that’ll teach you something new. Keep it at home by your chair, and maybe even read it rather than watching t.v.
3. You need enlightenment
Just as you need to nurture your mind, you also need to nurture your soul. I keep a religious book by my bed and read a bit of it each night before bed. These quiet moments are an excellent time to find perspective and encouragement; they help you wind down and remind you that you have a greater purpose. It may be the keystone text for your religion, or simply a book of inspiring stories or meditations, but it’s absolutely essential to nurture your soul with something enlightening and empowering.
There you have it, folks! Juggling books isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds, and I submit that you should have at least three reads going on at all times. If you keep your genres different enough, you won’t suffer from the dreaded “character overlap” or confuse plots, and your mind will be far richer for it!
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