Bookworm Problem: Reading similar books concurrently

I try to plan out a variety of books to read within a given month. Then I choose books from that stack to read when I’m ready for something new. I am usually reading multiple books at a time, so I try to pick books that aren’t too similar. It can be tricky to keep the plots straight otherwise.

But sometimes my library holds come in earlier than expected. And I have to start the new book right away no matter what else I’m reading.

This happened to me recently.

I was reading The Truth According to Us and Go Set a Watchman was ready for me at the library. Because it was a 7-day book, I started it right away. But the similarities to The Truth According to Us made it hard to keep listening to that book in my car. So I put it on hold for a couple of days.

Both books are set in small towns in the past. There are flash backs in both books, so even though the time periods were different (1930s vs. 1950s), the time period of each books wasn’t entirely consistent. Each book had a character who was living with his sister as an adult. And each book had a young girl that was in love with her older brother’s best friend while they were growing up. Both books were literary fiction, so the writing style was similar as well.

I finished Go Set a Watchman pretty quickly and got back to The Truth According to Us, which I am still listening to in my car. But for a while there, it was very confusing.

Does this ever happen to you? How do you keep from reading two similar books at one time?

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14 Comments

  1. I hate that! I tend to try to not even read two books of the same genre. For example: even if one is a historical mystery and one is a modern mystery, I find my brain getting annoyed by too much mystery.

  2. This is the exact reason I can't read more than one book at a time unless they're fiction and non-fiction. I have too hard of a time keeping plot lines separate, especially if they're in a similar setting! So while I might be a weird bookworm for it, I only read one book at a time. Luckily I'm a fast reader, and my library has 3-week checkout, so if I limit my number of holds I can get them all read. šŸ™‚

  3. I love reading multiple books at once, but it's true – I have to read books from different genres. I generally have one book going and one audiobook. If one's fantasy, the other is contemporary (etc.). I don't usually find myself getting confused or anything, but it's just so much easier when both books are different (and in different formats). I'm a big mood reader though so I'm surprised this method works for me!

  4. I generally have at least a dozen books going at one time (seriously), but I do try and make sure they're all different enough that I don't get them confused.

    Yes, I'm a major mood reader and like to make sure I've got something to fit my current mood/reading situation at all times. šŸ™‚

    And I juggle them all through lots of library renewals, and returning things unfinished to then borrow them again. And occasional late nights racing to finish one that can't be renewed but I can't bare to return it unfinished. šŸ™‚

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