The Polygamous Reader – A Survival Guide (+ handout)

Do you read one book from start to finish and only start the next one when you have, in all honesty, marked it as ‘Read’ on Goodreads?

No, I didn’t think so.

Polygamous reading is easy to slide into, sometimes just a package delivery away.

Imagine this – you are enjoying a delicious macchiato with your Currently-Reading belle in your hands. You are having a splendid time together. Sometimes you would steal a whiff of its pages or close it for a moment to marvel at its perfect pretty cover.

Then the bell rings and simple as that you are signing off a delivery. Bookdepository! You get a kick, start tearing at the package. Sure, you know what’s in there, but you don’t know how it will feel in your hands, do you?

Finally – Le New Book! It smells gorgeous, all crispy and unruffled. And it has that promising summary, embossed maybe, on the back. You just can’t wait to be immersed in that story.

The question is – do you resist and go back to the story you have already committed to? Or do you throw yourself head first in this new adventure?

Now imagine you got two packages.


This is how I became a polygamous reader. I suspect I have always been one, but my grandma successfully reprogrammed me when I was seven or eight. She saw me picking out a book from the huge pile on my nightstand and exclaimed: “But dear, this way you will get all the stories mixed up. They will not be fun if you don’t remember the characters!”

I lived by that hastily established rule until I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire two years ago. Not that I wasn’t immersed in the story, but sometimes I would be in the mood for something non-fantastical. Knowing it will take a while to go through five monsters of books, I just started reading some non-fantasy fiction parallel to whichever volume of the series I was at. Then two, then three. I discovered I never mix up the characters and manage to read more books overall.

But there is a catch!

It’s not that I don’t like all the books I am reading. It’s not that I forget their names or leave some untouched for ages.

It’s just harder to get emotionally involved with all, so sometimes when I just need to get lost in a book, there is none in my pile of (currently 7) books that can heal my heart.

If books are your secret hiding place, your way to relax, your repose from everyday hassle; and altogether a small Homecoming celebration every time you open their pages, then polygamous reading is bad, bad, BAD for you.


List-loving lass as I am, I scribbled this quick and dirty set of rules on a post-it by a way of scolding myself and vowed to do better in future.

If you, too, have a wondering eye and wish to preserve a healthy nurturing relationship with The Book on the nightstand, feel free to copy them
(or download the pretty version here – looks like that >>> ).

I vow to

1. Read simultaneously only books of different genres.

2. Not go over three books at a time or it’s cheating.

3. Send everything I have not picked up for over a week to the back burner.

4. Never stop trying for monogamy.

5. Not force myself to read a book only because it’s trendy.

6. Not lie to myself that I like a book and try to finish it.

7. Not order new books before my latest order has arrived.

Tempted to change the last one to ‘Not order new books before I’ve read all the currently-reading ones.’?

Don’t. You will break the rule the moment you get a monthly promotions newsletter or Facebook all-knowingly showers you with ads of latest book releases; and you will relapse.

Is polygamous reading  a problem for you or do you enjoy reading a lot of books at the same time? Do you have another reading habit you wish to get rid of? Please, share in the comment section below.


Ah, and BTW! I am starting a Newsletter in September and I am super-determined to make it worth your while if you subscribe. Plus, there will be a little something for the very first subscribers, not that I am bribing or anything 🙂

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. kyraandnikki says:

    This is so fun and entertaining! I consider myself a “book juggler” aka, a polygamous reader. It’s actually okay for me, but I do end up DNF-ing some of my books because of this habit. Looks like I need to change things up!

    1. Thank you for commenting!
      Book juggling does have its pros and feels so liberating, doesn’t it LOL If you can manage it, that’s great. I think something b/w one book only and a pile would be perfect, though, and maybe you will be able to cut the number of the not finished books.
      Happy reading! 🙂

  2. My name is Jenn (hi Jenn), and I am a polygamous reader. I can’t stop. I get enthralled in one book, but I happen to be at the library, and there’s that other new book that I was dying to read, and probably won’t be there if I leave it… Pretty soon I have multiple relationships with multiple books, and I start forgetting names and getting history confused. It’s kind of embarrassing.

    This post is awesome! I relate so much.

    1. Hi Jenn! Thank you for commenting and being so fun about it! 🙂 Us easily-tempted readers make up a huge group out there (for cute cozy bookstores to pray on) and we should stick together! How many books are you juggling right now? Mine dropped to four, so it’s a party!

  3. Beatrice says:

    This is exactly what I need right now! HAHA love it! ❤

    1. So happy you do! Thanks for commenting ; )

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