Book Monogamy.....THE TIMES ARE CHANGIN'

Sunday, March 9, 2014
So this week, I read Jamie's post on being a serial book monogamist, and it really got me thinking. I started out leaving this big huge comment on the subject and then thought, "Why don't I just make this into a post?" So here I am. This has been an age old debate between Amanda and I, as we have very differing views on the subject. I have also changed in the past years as my reading rate has increased.


  1. Growing up, I was a one book girl. My heart and soul were given to one book and one book only. 
  2. As I grew up and became an English major in college, I got used to reading several books at a time. I didn't necessarily enjoy it, (because I have a weird thing about being told what to read) but I did learn the balance. I pleasure read very little in college, as I didn't have much time or money (typical, right?). 
  3. In the summer, I would make a haughty English-majory reading list that consisted of Hemingway to Melville (because I was an insufferable 22-year-old). I read very little YA lit. I am willing to admit that I would turn my nose up at it. I was way up high in that ivory English major tower, you guys.  
  4. I think another contribution to my book monogamy was my battle with dyslexia. I have a harder time reading adult fiction because of the verbose vocabulary most books have, and books with complex words take me a longer time to read. 
  5. At the end of college I started reading YA lit, and I noticed that I had many of the words already memorized and had no need to slowly decode and sound out each word. While there are still some books out there that are challenging, (I'm looking at you, Seraphina) I usually save them for audiobooks. 

The present:

Now, I am a total book juggler. Every time I mention it to Amanda, it makes her shudder. Homegirl still loves one book at a time. She's slow to evolve, God love her. :P This was never a conscious decision, but something that just happened over time because of the life I lead and the work I do.

  1. I normally always have an audiobook going in the car. I have a thirty minute commute to work one way, so I can get a solid hour of reading in each day. I've also found that audiobooks help me unwind after a long day. Sometimes I leave work super uptight, angry, or tearful and escaping in a silky voiced audiobook is just the relaxation I need. 
  2. I have a book on my kindle. This is normally an ARC from NetGalley or Edelweiss. I read far more quickly on my kindle, and it is light enough that I take it everywhere with me. Stuck in line at the grocery store? I pull out my kindle. At the doctor's office? Kindle time. I like the ease and flexibility of it all. I also end my day reading a few chapters at night right before bed. There is something about snuggling under the covers with the lights off that reminds me of when I was little with a book and a flashlight.
  3.  I am always carrying a book around at school. I try to make it a physical copy of a book because otherwise the kids think I am just playing on my phone or kindle (because that is what they do). When I’m waiting in the hall to pick up the kids from lunch or specials, I read. If they are testing, I read. Why? Yes, it is partially for selfish pleasure, but it is also because I want to show them that reading isn’t just for school. Reading can actually be fun. Normally they will ask me what book I am reading. They will ask me my thoughts once I’ve finished it. They are normally amazed that it doesn’t take me a full month to finish a book (because it does for them). 80% of the time I am their grumpy and lame reading teacher, but that other 10% are the moments they see me reading cool books, and by extension, think that reading is cool too. 
What are your thoughts? Tweet me at @ofspecsandbooks!


  1. I've gone back and forth with "book monogamy" (I like that term). Right now, I'm pretty much a serial book monogamist. I find that if I try to read more than one novel at a time, I won't end up finishing any of them. In the past, though, I might've had 3 or 4 (or more) novels on my nightstand at the same time, and I somehow managed to keep all the stories straight in my mind.

    I guess I should add that I'm not 100% monogamous across the board. I will sometimes have a non-fiction book and a novel on the go at the same time... but not two novels at once.

    1. Agreed! I once did two dystopian novels at once and got crazy confused! If I do two books, I make sure they are from different genres.

  2. I usually try to stick to one book at a time. Sometimes I'll read multiple books at once if they are different genres, like a YA and a middle grade or something like that. I never read two books in the same genre because I think it takes away from the experience and I enjoy both of them less as a result. Great discussion!


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