I’ve Cheated. Or Something.

Back in January 2013 I asked you guys if you were book jugglers and I talked about how I was a serial monogamist when it came to how many books I would read at one time and why I was. (I also had a HELLA cute kid Jamie pic in that post). At the time I wrote that I was totally a one book kind of girl!

In this past year, I’ve totally changed somewhere along the way. I’ve cheated. Or maybe I’ve become a book polygamist. I don’t know. But all I know is that I’m juggling a ton of books these days and I feel like quite the playa playa. I don’t know HOW it happened but it just sort of did.


I always have my primary book that I’m reading but now it no longer has all that love and attention to itself. Then I started having a gym book that I would read on my Kindle whilst on the treadmill but then I started doing other exercise-y things so I’m not there as often. Now that I’ve started nannying while I’m still looking for jobs I have my “nannying book” on my Kindle that I only read while I’m there. My kindle is just easier to hold when I’m reading and the baby is asleep on me. But, it doesn’t end there, I also decided it would be an excellent idea to add my commuting book, which is an audiobook, to really get some extra reading time in. The other week it even got a little crazy because I had a book that I had bought for my Nook, which is now deceased, so I had to read it on my Nook App so I was reading THAT.

I’ve gotten out of control (and I totally feel like Papa Smurf above) but I sort of like it. Some observations:

1.Β  Surprisingly it’s been kind of nice because I feel like I’m not in a “I haven’t read in a week because I’m avoiding my book” slump as often because I am picking up something different so if something isn’t speaking to me and I’m avoiding it (before deciding to put it down..which I suck at) then at least I’m still reading SOMETHING at some point in my day.

2. I feel like I’m finishing more books. I don’t know if it’s true but I feel like it.

3: OMG MY BRAIN SOMETIMES. It can’t handle the switching back and forth.

4. When I’m not careful and I’m reading books that are maybe kind of similar..I really do feel like they bleed into each other. Gotta be smarter about that!

5. The one bad thing is that when I finish two book around the same time I’m like OH MAN NOW I HAVE TO WRITE TWO POSTS. Double the procrastination!

6. It’s really nice when I have an e-Arc of a book and then end up with a physical copy because then I make them both my primary and Kindle read while I’m nannying. I feel like I blow through books so fast!

7. One of my main reasons I didn’t like juggling books was because I felt like I would either a) have major indecision between which book to pick up if I was enjoying both or I would gravitate towards one and just abandon the other one altogether and it would never get read. I’ve realized that this point becomes moot now because I’m not just juggling them for the sake of juggling them but I have designated books that I only read in specific places or at specific times. It’s not like I’m just saying “okay I’ll read a little of this and then a little of that one” and keep rotating just because. THAT doesn’t work for me but apparently the fact that each book has their place to be read makes it work for me. PLUS, like with the gym book, it’s so motivating to know that I HAVE to go to the gym to read it!

It’s working for now and I’m not opposed to changing habits so I’m just rolling with it…this new found “book slut” hat I’m putting on.


So, you may or may not have talked about your habits with me back then when I talked about my book monogamy, but I’d love to talk about whether or not you are a book monogamist or if you juggle those books like a pro! Do you have designated books that you only read at x time/place? Have you always been a one book person or a juggler? Any thoughts on anything I brought up?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Oh man, I just turned into a book juggler like three weeks ago. Before then I refused to read more than one book at a time. I decided to do a read-along, but we weren’t reading at a pace fast enough for me to only stick to that. So then I added another book. And then I started reading an ebook too. I think I’ll have to stop with three. It felt wrong at first, but now it feels kind of good haha.

  2. I also used to be a book monogamist, but now I have a main book, an audiobook and a take-outside book, which is always as small as possible so I don’t have to carry so much weight! But as yousaid, I try to pick different kinds of books so that they don’t blend with each other!

  3. Awwww yeeeahhh. My fellow playa! WELCOME TO THE CLUB. ;D

    I always try not to become a juggler, but my heart knows I am a juggler at heart. I cannot resist! It is what I know best! When I get into my juggler act, most of the time I am unsuccessful at doing it properly. I try to limit myself to three books because my brain will be a mess! How am I suppose to remember what happens in each book when it sometimes gets jumbled up. ;D Sometimes it doesn’t happen because I get into different moods and want to read extremely different things.

  4. I read 2-3 books at once. Usually different speeds or subjects or genres. Like a thriller and a romance. A historical fiction and chick lit. I find I need a palate cleanser, esp if I’m reading something heav.

  5. GILES!

    Okay, got that out. I’m in the same boat you are. I used to be a one book kind of girl, but that that slowly changed. I have my main book that I read whenever I’m at home or whatnot; my “work book,” for when it’s crippling slow and I’ve got nothing to do; and my night time book on my Kindle., because the Kindle light doesn’t bother Joe when he’s trying to sleep. It’s actually kind of nice and I never thought I would like reading more than one book at a time, but it’s slowly grown on me. I think it’s always helped me read through books faster, as strange as that sounds.

    The only exception to these designated books is if I’m really close to the end and I HAVE to finish it but it’s the end of the day or we’re going to bed. You get the idea πŸ™‚

  6. I tend to read one book at a time, but lately I’ve taken “The Novel Cure”‘s advice with regards to my “tendency to skim”: they say to read in only 45 minute chunks or longer, and that works for me. But when I don’t have that much time to spare, I wish I had something else to read. So maybe I should pick a shorter book for that kinda thing.

  7. My books and I have an understanding that no one book can meet all my needs. I work and teach college classes in early childhood special education so I always have a nonfiction book going, usually about a topic related to disability/education/brain development. Those can make your brain tired after awhile so I binge read fiction about once a week. I can usually only read one fiction book at a time because I devour them so quickly.

  8. I used to be a book juggler, when I was in Grad School for Library Sciences and HAD to read different books for different classes. In some respects it was great – I got a lot of reading done and I had the chance to read a variety of books. It was confusing at first, but once I got used to it, it was fine. Since graduating I’ve been a one book kind of gal. But now, I’ve been in a reading slump, so maybe I should pick up another book as a reading pick me up!

    Great post!
    – Nicole

  9. I am a total book slut, to use your very accurate terminology. I always have 2 or 3 books on the go, and I try to alternate and divide my time between them equally, which doesn’t always work. Sometimes 1 book completely draws me in and the world around me can disintegrate for all I care, because I will not be able to focus on anything else until I’ve finished it.

    I really like the idea of having different books to read in different places. I’ve never tried that myself, but it’s a good idea and I might start trying to implement it as well. I do have audio books for when I’m commuting, because I get motion sickness and sadly can’t read an actual book on the bus.

    Geat post! I don’t comment on here very often, but I do love reading your blog and I pop in quite frequently.

  10. I’m a book juggler definitely, and sometimes I have books for different times or places, but most of the time, I just juggle. I usually have at least one digital book and one physical book on the go, which is exactly what I’m currently doing, but sometimes I’ll have another one that I read when I’m going to and from college, which will usually be another physical book. Sometimes I will find myself drawn to one book in particular, but other times I just roll it. I tend to read three books at a time at most and that does me well. I can also totally feel you on the finishing two books on the same day and things just falling apart, because that happens to me all the time! This is a great topic Jamie πŸ™‚

  11. I used to never read more than one book at a time. However, with school I’ve been balancing 5-7 books at a time. Granted some are more or less like textbooks (though not exactly textbooks), but I am somehow managing those every week, plus the novel a week for my literature class, and then in the last four weeks I have been working in a personal book, too. I have to say, the longer I do it, the easier it becomes. However, I refuse to add another book on to the pile at this point.

  12. I’ve juggled books for as long as I can remember. When I was in school, I’d have my school required reading, but then I’d also have my own “bedtime” reading, and sometimes I’d swap between several books. Now, I usually have 2-3 going on – often, I have a book that’s “good for traveling,” if I’m going away for a weekend or something. I have books that never leave my bedroom nightstand, and I have books that get read at any time or place. I love being able to switch between books depending on my mood!

  13. You see, I always want to juggle more than one book, but I have tried and had times where one ends up being more appealing so I forget the other one altogether. I just recently signed up for audible, because I drive a lot at work, so I think maybe it’ll be nice to listen to a book instead of just turning the radio dial constantly. I will see how that goes.

    I like the idea of motivation for the gym by having a ‘gym-only’ book! I keep telling my fiance I want to go to the gym with my kindle… but I am rather lazy. If I motivated myself with a book maybe it would happen! Thanks for that tip!

    Happy reading =)

  14. I’m a one book woman myself. Or, at least, I was. I’ve decided to do a reread of Jane Austen’s novels this year and I realized there’s no way I can read any of hers in one go without reading something else at the same time. I think I’ve decided the best way to approach this is to read a YA (preferably contemporary) while also reading Austen. It worked well last month with Sense and Sensibility and My Life with the Walter Boys (PS did you read that one? I adored it.) I think you’ve got a good system – having designated reading places for certain books. And I totally get you on the motivation for the gym thing. Makes doing cardio SO much better when there’s a book to be read πŸ™‚

  15. I love your concept of organized book juggling, that would totally work for me, because I do hate to juggle just for the sake of it, balls I’m learning to, but books no!

    I’m mostly a book monogamist though, but since I wandered into the audio book world I’m always reading and listening to a different book, so I’m currently concentrating in two books. But it is hard for me to find any other place or time to add an additional book. Although, I don’t know if I would. My mind is so square that I can’t start a new book if I haven’t finished the other, like I need closure or something. That’s the same reason I always finish a book, even if I hated it and it is taking me more than a while to read, I need closure.

    I do like your concept, so maybe I’ll try it out if I find the right system, as long as its organized, of course, my mind couldn’t handle it otherwise.

  16. Heather says:

    I tend to only read one book at a time. When I was communiting to work (a total of 1 hour/day) I was listening to one and reading another but I’m afraid I’ll get the two books mixed up if I start reading more than one. I tend to read books with similar themes, at least lately, and I’m not sure my brain can handle more than one at a time. I was very tempted though when you wrote that you read faster… then I read the entire sentence instead of just the bolds and saw “feel like”… still very tempting.

  17. I used to be that way too!! I couldn’t fathom reading more than one book at a time. How would I know what was going on? I would be overwhelmed for sure.

    I think maybe we’ve just grown as readers? One book is never enough anymore. I’m a floozy. lol, I always have two going and I recently added Audio books to the mix. Makes me look forward to my work commute. πŸ™‚

    And it does feel like I’m reading a ton more now! I’m 5 books ahead on my goodreads challenge so it must be true.

    LoL at your book slut hat. I’ll need to see a pick of you wearing one when the weather clears up. I can picture you sitting in a park surrounded in books wearing a sombrero.

  18. I am a one book girl. I can’t read more than one at a time. I get too confused and the plot and characters all get mixed up in my head. I don’t know how people read more than one at a time! But I’m glad it’s working out for you. Sounds like you’ve got a great system going on. πŸ™‚

  19. Haha, that’s exactly how I end up with so many books going! I need them in all the different formats! And I definitely think you get more reading in since you have a book for every occasion. Though I’m curious how your nanny book is different from your gym book? Just because you prefer to read something different for those two occasions or for another reason? I generally only have one eARC, one physical and one audio going just because I need each format. I try to always have the eARC be exciting so that I want to go to the gym, but that hasn’t happened recently >.>

  20. One of us! One of us!

    Yep, I’m a juggler. I have a library book in my desk at work for lunch/slow times. I have a bed book that I share with my husband. I have my primary ebook. And I have a physical book for lazy Saturdays/bubble baths/bored with the primary. Sometimes its a problem, like if I go too long without picking one of them up and then I have to backtrack to remember plot points. I take a lot of notes if I’m going to review. But I almost never go through a slump! Romance is boring? Switch to the fantasy. Fantasy not doing it? Over to the non-fiction.

  21. Ahahahaha “book slut hat” I’m dying over here. You’re just the cutest!

  22. I use to be a one book person. But with me falling in love with audios…that has changed things a lot. I listen to books now at work while I’m doing work – killing two birds with one stone! It’s awesome! I LOVE it!!! And then I have my ‘go to bed’ book – It’s under my pillow as we speak. I read it before bed. That read generally takes long to get through though. I’m not sure I could handle more then those two though.


  23. I’ve always been a book juggler. There is just something about reading several books at the same time that works for me. I think it’s because I can be a mood reader and this way, I can always pick up a book I feel like reading at that moment πŸ™‚ and it’s preventing me from going into a slump, because I always have at least one ARC and one of my own books. Review books don’t feel so overwhelming that way. I also have no problems with memorizing what is happening in what book, so perfect. My max is around 4 books at the same time. I had one time where I read 8 and it did work, but it was too much, haha.

  24. I attempted a little reading more than one book at a time experiment last month and I failed, epically. I had my primary book and then another side book – a classic novel which I was reading ‘serially’ as it would have been originally published – well, that was the plan and it went to pot because the classic, Oliver Twist, ended back up on my unread shelf. I’ve come to learn that I’m a one book kind of woman… I’ve just attempted to carve more reading time in my day now so I can get through more books – I don’t want to rush reads, I like to savour.
    It’s great that you’ve found a balance, it isn’t easily doable.

  25. I used to only read one book at a time but now I’ve come to be a book juggler myself. An Audio book, ebook, physical book and a book I don’t plan on reviewing.

  26. I read multiple books at a time too – the bedside book, the audio in my car, the ebook at work during lunch, etc. πŸ™‚ I don’t consider it cheating lol!

  27. Okay so I had a big response to this, but then decided I’d just make it into a blog post! Thanks for the idea!


  28. My reading habits change depend on my mood, I think. We’ve actually apparently gone in the opposite direction! Whereas I used to read different books in different situations (like on my commute, at home, etc) (I still do this occasionally, by the way), I now actually only focus on reading one book at a time since I can usually manage to take my books (whether physical or ebook) anywhere I go. It’s interesting to see how much our habits change with time and growth!

    • So interesting! It’s crazy how in a year my habits could change so drastically but I feel like it is also part of my situation changing. I never had a reason really to have different books besides like the gym or the car when I commuted (another element you have that I don’t..you can read on the train…I should NOT try to read while driving :P). I think when I stop nannying I’ll go back to having just one book besides an audiobook and my gym book (which in some cases COULD be my primary book if I have it as an e-arc).

  29. I have a question..how do you read on the treadmill without tripping all over yourself?

  30. Love this post! I’m a monogamist for sure (I never understood how people flip back and forth b/w books), but I like your routine of “specific book for specific place”. What I’m even more interested in is how you read both paper books and on your Kindle! I was strictly paper books until my husband essentially forced me to get a Kindle. And then I was hooked! I tried to read one paper book after getting my Kindle and put it down quickly – all of a sudden books felt heavy and cumbersome. I’m so extreme I will only accept electronic ARCs πŸ™‚


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