Read, Read, Read

It is impossible for me to read only one book during any given time period. On average it is more like five. The main reason is that normally I can’t read more than 10 pages of a book in one sitting, therefore I usually have several books on-going so I can make slow progress on all of them. That was in old days. Now the reason is more about the various forms of the books – hard copy, e-book, audio book, etc.

Take these days for an example. Below are the books I’m currently actively reading – not counting the handful of books that I put on hold at the moment (i.e., started but haven’t read for a month).

  1. The Internet of Things (hard copy from library) – read when I am on the couch
  2. The Chinese dream (hard copy from shelf at home) – read when I am in bed
  3. Born to Run (audio book on CD from library) – listen to when I am in the car
  4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (audio book on CD from library) – listen to when I am at the computer
  5. The Collectors (audio book on Overdrive) – listen to on iPhone whenever
  6. Divine Commodity (e-book on Kindle) – read in bed or on iPhone whenever

One risk of having many books in my working memory at the same time is having them all mixed up, so I tend to select books that are different in genre, in time, or in topic. And this is why I have eclectic reading taste. But the list above isn’t ideal – books #3 and #5 are not distanced enough and I already stumbled a few times. When I read about someone went to FBI in #3, I was thinking “oh no, the FBI agent was a bad guy”, then I remembered the bad guy was actually a CIA agent in #5. Or when I read about someone talked to the Secret Service in #5, I was thinking “how come he didn’t know the vice president was dead”, then I remembered the dead vice president was in #3.

As confusing as this sounds, it is quite fun too!! Hopefully these short circuits won’t damage my brain but generate interesting ideas instead. 🙂

Okay, reading time!

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3 thoughts on “Read, Read, Read

  1. I don’t know how you keep them all straight. I tend to have only one or two books I’m actually reading at once (if two, usually one is a Lincoln book). Where I have several books going at once it’s book I’m writing and researching. 🙂

    You do read quite a variety of books. That’s great. Too many people just read “romance novels” or “murder mysteries” or “everything by author X” and don’t get to experience different genres and ideas. Keep it up!

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