Can You Read Multiple Books At Once?

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We are so busy in our lives nowadays that we try to multitask everything.  We watch different television shows and listen to different shows and we sometimes even believe that we are able to keep up pretty easily. However, when it comes to books, it varies depending on the individual.

Can you read multiple books at once? You can read multiple books at once, but it depends on how one processes information. Some read books as if they are watching episodes in a show. Others understand it better when they focus on completing one book at a time.

The art of reading multiples books at once may seem daunting to some while totally natural to others. So, if this is something you aspire to be able to do, keep reading to learn more about it.

Is it Bad to Read Two Books at Once? No, it is not “bad.” Just be sure to change things up a bit and read according to your mood. If you are learning a skill, make sure it is the same skill book, such as cooking. There is no “good” or “bad” with reading. It is literally how you take in the information and what you feel comfortable with that matters.

There Is A Name For It

There is a term for mass reading on one subject. It is called Syntopic Reading. Documented in “How to Read a Book” by Mortimer J. Adler, it describes the ability to consolidate views on a subject. It is most commonly used by writers and teachers.

Syntopic reading seems to be a more intelligent way of reading. However, it is for the simple fact of being able to read more books in a short amount of time. Some use this in combination with speed reading, which allows for even more information to be absorbed.

Can You Read Multiple Books At Once?


Take into consideration the subject of the books that you are wanting to read and if you are looking at fiction or nonfiction. This can greatly make a difference in how you may want to handle this. Some people prefer to read one at a time if it is a good story. However, in nonfiction, they may be more comfortable with more than one book.


Fiction books are imagination created stories. Much like the individual episodes in a television series, books can be seen the same way. Depending on your mood and what you feel like being absorbed into.

Try and separate into different story environments. Try plots of mystery but then romantic. Make sure there is a major difference in the genres of your stories. This way you can wrap yourself in the emotional and mental world created by the story without confusing yourself.

Make sure it is something you will actually want to read. Otherwise, it will be just another book on the shelf. You will never read it if your interest is not there.

Search out for new and interesting books and spread them around in your day. Make sure you can pull yourself from one story and put yourself into another story without hesitation.


Nonfictions are based on real life. Self-help books, cookbooks, biographies and there are so many other forms of literature. If you are studying a certain subject, then you may want to grab several books and read them one at a time to grasp all of the information you can.

Nonfiction books are great for research and learning new skills. There are no limits on the number of books that may be on each subject. There is always room in your mind to learn more. So, learn as much as you can about the subject that you wish to learn. However, I wouldn’t advise you to combine different skill books when you are trying to learn a skill.

In the case of skill books, it’s probably best to stick to one book from beginning to end, and then move on to the next skill book. Otherwise, you may never try one learning approach until the end. This may leave you hanging at a beginner level and confused because you now have read advice from 3 totally different authoritative sources that have opposite teaching styles.

Is it Bad If I Cannot Read Multiple Books?

It is definitely not a bad thing if you cannot read multiple books. There are other ways to cultivate yourself, learn something or enjoy a good story. You do what works best for you! Some people cannot read but can listen to audiobooks or videos. In fact, I’m one of them!

I find it hard to sit down and read. And I often get confused when I have too many books I want to read, stacked near my bed. But I do enjoy listening to an audiobook while I do my daily 10,000 steps! This habit has brought me from reading probably around 1-2 books a year (if at all!) to around 1 book a month, sometimes much more!

And for sure, you can stick to reading one book at a time. Besides, when it comes to fiction books, it is something some of us prefer to do as it allows us to be in the story more and feel it. There is an emotional and mental connection that goes along with the stories that we read.

And if you are doing research and cannot get yourself to where you can focus on reading those books, go through and read the main ideas. There is always a “subject” and “main idea” sentence that gives you the information you are trying to obtain. There are also resources such as Blinkist that give you access to many books’ summaries. Take advantage if you need to go through multiple books at once for your research, but don’t usually read so much.

Consider the Different Ways of Reading

There are so many available ways of “reading” a book. There are apps, audiobooks, ebooks, and so much more. This allows you to absorb the book in different ways. You can then “read” in the best convenient manner. Also, try reading with friends. You can always share ideas and things that you may have missed.

Benefits of Reading

Reading or listening to reading can bring so many benefits to an individual. Just a matter of minutes a day can begin changing your level of understanding and learning. Your mind is a muscle, the more you exercise it, the more it can hold.

Expand your imagination

When reading or listening to books, you begin to expand your imagination. In turn, you then become more creative and begin thinking in ways that you never thought you would before New ideas and new stories of your own. You are then able to visit worlds that even you did not know of.

Expand Your Knowledge

If you are doing research or just reading to obtain knowledge, reading is the best way to do that. When you add more than one book, you intensify the amount of knowledge you obtain. There is never too much knowledge, and never too little mental space in your mind.


Reading allows you to be able to escape whatever reality you are in. It can take you out and put you in a whole other world. So whatever stresses or issues you may have you can temporarily forget about them by diving into a good story or a world of possibilities brought up by new knowledge.

Life Lessons

Believe it or not, many stories have morals or life lessons in them. You may find something that helps you solve a real-life problem in the books you are reading. Maybe you are having a disagreement with one of your friends, and you read a book that is similar, you may figure out how to fix that problem.

The authors of the books you read can truly play the role of mentors. After all, they wrote their books for a reason! They wanted to pass on their knowledge and life lessons.


With the time, you’ll see yourself grow and find that reading books becomes easier. You will want to find more to read and fill in spaces where you have finished books. And you might start developing a proper craving for reading!


Do not worry about the time it takes to read a book. The length of a book and your comprehension may affect how long it takes. You cannot compare the length of the last book either to the current one. Each book has its own different message, each one takes a little bit more, or less time, to comprehend it. And each one gives a different appeal to where it needs to be read twice.


Be aware of stories and the kind of emotions you want to experience with the books. If you want joy, action, mystery, or romance make sure to choose books that bring you the emotion you want to experience. Do not close yourself up though, keep your mind open to experience other worlds.

The Extra Benefits

Believe it or not, reading can aid in physical benefits as well. We already know what the mental benefits of reading are. But did you know that it also helps reduce stress? It is said to help one fall asleep faster as well. In some cases, it can help build empathy and compassion.

Find your Sweet Spots

Your sweet spots are areas where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Places where you are not interrupted every few minutes and you can put yourself into the world that the book provides. Those are the spots where you can fully enjoy the experience that is intended by the author.

Never Stop Reading

Never stop striving for knowledge, never let a book down without getting a few prints on it and never let a story lie unread. Your mind, body, and soul urns for an escape and knowledge. There is a never-ending amount of that knowledge available everywhere you go. It truly is beautiful.

You just have to open yourself up to experience it every day. Whether it is by one book or several, you are on your way to an abundance that no one can take away.

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