This is me trying to explain the paranoid way in which my reading habits have evolved over the years. Once, when I was significantly younger, I was reading one book at a time and would become completely engrossed in the story of the novel or the interesting topic of the nonfiction book. And that was fine, that worked for a time. But then, as I got older, my reading needs became more complex and I started mood-reading, meaning that I was reading based on my mood.
So, you know how sometimes you feel like watching a rom-com just to get your feels or you’re in the mood of a good old-fashioned noir? It is the same with books. Sometimes I have an itch for a great fantasy epic that will not let me think of anything else, other times I just have to learn more about feminist theory, read Marx‘s Capital in comics, learn about human trafficking or read a weird contemporary short story. I might wake up wanting to delve deeper into an old classic (ah! Jane Austen) or find out more about a person through a heart-felt memoir. That’s when I decided to become a polybookist.
To be successful in that you have to keep your stories straight. You can’t read two similar books and keep them differentiated in your mind. What I like to do is play with genres and format. I can read a science fiction or fantasy novel while reading a contemporary fiction novel at the same time, or a collection of short stories and a collection of essays. I can listen to an audiobook, read a graphic novel in paperback or on my iPad, read a nonfiction book on my Kindle and a YA paperback/hardback novel, while still having the ability to study for my MA. These things can have their own unique spot in my mind and not get mixed up at all precisely because of their differences in content and format.
Right now I’m reading a Greek contemporary classic, The Great Chimera (Η μεγάλη χίμαιρα) by M. Karagatsis, in hardback format, a writing guide, The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne, the audiobook memoir Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming and the audiobook version of the second instalment in the fantasy epic Mistborn, The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve also been reading three textbooks for my MA in Publishing and the cours “International publishing and rights management”: Selling Rights by Lynette Owen, Pa Guide to Export by Peter Newsom and International Business by Stuart Wall et al. To sustain all these habits I get some paperbacks from work, I buy Kindle books on Amazon whenever there is a sale of a book I’m interested in and I have a subscription in Scribd, a subscription service for eBooks, audiobooks and graphic novels.
That’s it for me. How about you? What are your reading habits?