I seem mildly incapable of reading just one book at a time. There are exceptions of course – for example, vacations. Especially beach vacations. I then happily devote myself to serial monogamy with whatever books I managed to stuff into my bag without tipping the scale past the dreaded 50-pound mark.
For the moment, however, I am living in literary sin. I am still meandering through Umberto Eco’s How To Travel With a Salmon. I have also begun two new novels: Haruki Murakami’s Wild Sheep Chase, and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. They are all over the spectrum in terms of both genre and writing styles. They are also quite literally all over the map. Eco is Italian, Murakami is Japanese, and Dumas is French. Dumas is also long deceased, but that’s beside the point.
I think this is the only way to manage reading multiple books at a time, really. For me, at least, books that are too similar start to blend together if I attempt to read them concurrently. With novels as disparate as these three are, on the other hand, there is absolutely no danger of confusion. I am enjoying them all immensely, especially The Count of Monte Cristo. The major action of the plot has just kicked off, and I’m very excited to see how the adventure unfolds.