Bookgamy: a polygamic relationship between me and my books

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 MistbornThe 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 OwenPa 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?

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. zizeloni says:

    I am also “reading” 4 books now: my normal one, a Jane Austen for breaks, a manga series for whenever I remember it and a scientific one! Crazy, but I feel like I have to do it like that…

    Like

    1. Marina Sigma says:

      I know! It sounds crazy but it works.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jonathan says:

    I’m usually reading at least one book and listening to an audiobook. I hoard unread books so I have plenty of choices when I finish my current one.

    Like

  3. Αλέξανδρος Z says:

    I am doing also about the same thing. I am reading fiction books in different genre at the same time. And a non-fiction on the side with some short stories as an hors d’oeuvres. The problem is that one of these books are halted more, and maybe after some time it is forgotten. Usually this happens if one book is so thrilling that I forgot about the other two.

    However, there is a question for you. You said that you are reading a book based on your mood. How do you know which book will be serving your mood? Is the back cover enough to give you some insight? What about finding a new book? How do you search for one? Because I have the same difficulty as well.

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    1. Marina Sigma says:

      I usually choose based on the genre; my mood extends to things like “I’m in a mood for epic fantasy” or “I feel like a feminist essay would scratch my reading itch right now”. Choosing which books to read has never been a problem because, usually, one book leads to the next. I use book sites, booktubers, podcasts, bloggers, Facebook groups and word of mouth (friends!) as my sources. I also check out Goodreads, Amazon and Kobo recommendations. Many a times I just follow authors I love and read their other books or I “taste” some author I’ve been hearing about for years. I hope this helps!

      Like

  4. marileninja says:

    i only used to read a book at a time but then my flatmate got me addicted to two things: never leaving home without a book in my bag and reading chaotically. so yes, now i’m reading ‘The name of the wind’, the ‘Stranger’ and the first tome of ‘Fables’. it works.. though sometimes in my dreams they mix up..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marina Sigma says:

      I wonder who that flatmate might be…

      Liked by 1 person

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