Multi book reading

I have a habit that I wonder if others do as well. And I wonder if it is productive or counter intuitive.

What I do is multi-book-reading. By that I mean I read several books at once.

How I do this is by having different books in different locations. And also several books in the same location. I have a preference for printed books. PDFs of books are handy occasionally for specific searches, but I really cannot read page upon page on a screen. Kindle may be nice, but I have not yet jumped on that bandwagon.

This multi-book effect is partially due to laziness, as when I am in the lounge I do not want to have to walk back upstairs to my study if I get a sudden urge to read or fetch a book. So I always have a half read book in the lounge. (Currently in the lounge I am re-reading the Kanban book by Anderson).

In my study I naturally have bookshelves loaded with computers books, especially java, and always a couple on my desk. I tend not to read too long in this room (then why is it called a study?), but a quick few paragraph while the pc is rebooting etc a few times a day. The reference books however might be referred to when needed. (Current study books are Seven Languages in Seven Weeks by Tate and Continuous Delivery by Humble & Farley)

On my bed side table there may be a fiction book. I don't really want to think too much when trying to sleep.

At work I would also have a mini library as I also tend to evangelise and lend books to colleagues. So I usually have a half read book or two or three there as well. Again for quick glances while rebooting etc, but also for longer reads during lunch if I go by myself. (Just finished ReWork by Fried & Heinemeier Hansson and Linchpin by Godin)

When I am out-and-about e.g. queuing for the till in a shop, waiting for the bus or at lunch when I forgot a book, I use the Aldiko e-book reader on my Android phone. Being a sucker for offers at O'Reilly for epub formatted books I have quite a few on my phone. Aldiko is excellent, but the small phone format is in essence rubbish for reading books over time. It is good for quick 1-5 minutes reads but no longer. And useless for reference books as the overview of the page is difficult. (97 Things Every Programmer Should Know by Henney is good for 5 minute reads)

For longer commutes by train or plane I tend to bring an actual book. If I do this regularly I should probably invest in a Kindle. (Read bits of Specification by Example by Adzic on the plane recently)

I tend do a lot of quick reads. As a stop gap filler between other events. Maybe work interrupts, maybe it is some element of ADHD, or probably our 6 months old daughter. This means I constantly waste time remembering the context of where I am in the book.

Longer reading periods is usually a holiday pattern. This would then often involve more fiction books. I read the Night's Dawn trilogy[2][3] over the last few holidays.

Some books I might skim read chapters to get a gist of but I know I can revisit them if I need to know those sections in detail in the future. Some books I never finish. I would say a good third or more in library I have not finished or barely read. Some turned out just not interesting, some are just skim read while others are consequences of multi-book-reading and lower down the reading priority list.

So this multi-book-reading means I do read a lot of books. But it also means I do not finish enough books. Not very "kanban" or "one-piece-flow" :)

Creative Commons License

Unless otherwise specified, all content is licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY).

Externally linked images and content are not included and are licensed and copyrighted separately.