How many books is too many?


How many is too many?

Happy 2016! The best way to start the new year? With books! But I have myself a dilemma.

  1. How many books is it ok to read at once? That’s the troubling question plaguing the start to my year. Does more than one make me a cheat or just an ambitious book reading hero? Is it ok to put down Tolstoy in order to pick up Dan Brown? The answer to that question is no, it’s never OK to pick up Dan Brown. Full disclosure – I’m currently reading neither of those authors.

I am however currently “reading” four books at once, five if you include the audiobook of Max Brooks’ World War Z, which is terrifying me with its hollow reflections on the recent zombie war as I carry out my washing up duties. I suspect I’m a fickle reader, but am I really a cheat?

There’s a reason, I promise, but it’s not a very good one. I think I’ll call it the goldilocks principle, which frankly despite with the scientists say, has nothing to do with the narrow margins of habitability of a planet, it has to do with books!


Just right?

You see I was reading a book, it was amazing, but it required a lot of concentration to do it justice. Then it was Christmas, and concentration took a back seat to chocolate. So I carefully up another book. It was a light, fluffy romp of a sci-fi book, fun was being had… then Christmas was over. Suddenly my light fluffy book was too light and fluffy, I wanted more crunch. So I picked up more crunch, a slim, exciting adventure in literary fiction that I picked up from a charity shop. It bears the signed inscription “Kacha, here’s one I know you’ll enjoy. Olly,” inside the front cover. Kacha did not enjoy it enough to keep her gift it seems.

Kacha may have had her doubts, but I’ve been rather enjoying it. Except then I caught a cold, and the crunch I had desired was lost to the sniffles of a red-nosed reader feeling rather sorry for himself. Enter epic fantasy. Now I’m running out of book marks, so much so that I was actually using books as bookmarks for each other. I have also used spoons, junk mail, pens, door handles and tooth brushes in the last few weeks. Am I bad a person?

I may be fickle. But I’m sure I’m not a cheat. As a writer though, I guess it’s nice to know that even if a reader doesn’t want to read your book right now, there’s likely to come along a time when they do. All you have to hope for is that mood lasts long enough for them to finish it!

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Posted in Am reading, Words are great

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