Can You Read Two Books at Once?

As any bibliophile knows, there are more books to read than there are hours in the day, especially when you factor in going to work or school. One way to solve this problem is to read two or more books simultaneously. But is it possible to read two books at the same time?

You can read two or more books at once to enjoy multiple genres simultaneously or so you can choose a title based on your mood. Many people enjoy reading several books at a time to experience multiple stories at once, while others prefer to immerse themselves in one plot entirely.

The rest of this article will provide tips on how to read two books at the same time and provide reasons why you should, or shouldn’t, read multiple books at once to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Tips for Successfully Reading Two Books at Once

While it’s a common thing to do, reading two or more books at the same time isn’t always easy. Here are some tips for how to successfully read multiple titles simultaneously.

Choose Books From Different Genres and Mediums

When deciding what books you want to read, choose books from different genres. You’ll be less likely to confuse plotlines. You may even be able to make connections between the books that you wouldn’t otherwise. 

There are a variety of mediums you can use to read books, ranging from physical books to ebooks to audiobooks. That way, you’ll have set book formats to use in different situations. If you have a long trek to work, pop in an audiobook. If you’re waiting to see a doctor, pull out an ebook.

Keep Track of What Books You Are Reading and Where in the Book You Are

When you read multiple books at once, you don’t want to lose track of where you are or even what books you’re reading. You can keep track by using an app or website like Goodreads. With Goodreads, you can keep track of what books you’re reading and even how far through you’re on it!

Stay Disciplined and Be Patient With Your Reading

It’s hard to read more than one book at the same time. You’ll succeed as long as you stay disciplined in your schedule and don’t change the books.

Also, be patient with yourself when you first start. It may take months for you to finish a single book when you first start reading multiple books. Don’t worry about it; you’ll get faster with practice.

Make a List and Follow It

The chances are good that you already have a TBR (To Be Read) list if you’re reading this article. However, if you don’t, I highly recommend writing one out. Be sure to revisit and organize your list in the order you want to finish the books. Once you’ve done that, read the books in that order! 

Read at Specific Times During the Day

Understandably, it’s easy to forget about reading when you’re busy. To prevent this, simply schedule reading into your daily schedule. By scheduling a specific time to read, not only do you get to enjoy reading a good book, but you also get a well-deserved break from a busy schedule.

Pros and Cons of Reading Two Books at Once

You can read two books at once, but is it worth it? Well, that depends on what makes reading so important for you. Here are some reasons why you should, and why you shouldn’t read two or more books at the same time.

Pros of Reading Multiple Books Simultaneously

  • You can read about a diverse array of topics and genres. When you read multiple books, you’ll be choosing books of a plethora of genres and topics. You’ll be reading lighthearted books as well as dark or heavier books.
  • You can read books based on your mood. If you feel sad and want to be happier, go ahead and read a more joyful book, or if you want to wallow, choose a more heartbreaking book. It’s all up to you.
  • You can get through your TBR faster. While you may read slowly at first, if you read multiple books at once, you read more of your TBR. When you read more of your TBR, you finish it more quickly.
  • You can have “assigned” books for specific rooms or situations. As you schedule the time(s) of day you’ll read, you could also decide what book to read then. There may be one book that you only read during breakfast, or you listen to an audiobook on your way to work. You could even have a book to read in your bathroom specifically.

Cons of Reading Multiple Books Simultaneously

  • You can get confused or forget details of the books. If you’re reading two similar books, it’s easy to forget what happened in each book or think that something happened in one book that occurred in the other. 
  • You’re more likely to not finish every book. It’s effortless for books to slip between the cracks and forget to finish them when you read multiple books.
  • You can take longer to finish a single book. Since you’ll be reading more than one book, you may not read the same one every day, meaning that it might take longer for you to finish a single book than it would if you read one book at a time.
  • Your productivity may decrease. When surrounded by distractions, you’re less likely to be productive and get good work done. Reading can be considered a distraction. Therefore, if you notice that you’re distracted easily, reading multiple books might not be the best option.


Reading two books at once is perfectly acceptable and quite common among bookworms. Reading multiple books allows you to choose a title based on your mood, yet this could also lead to confusion between plots. If you’ve never read two or more books at once, three tips to get you started are:

  • Read books from different genres and of different mediums.
  • Use Goodreads or other similar apps to keep track of what books you’re reading and where you are in each book.
  • Schedule time(s) throughout your day to read and relax.


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