Is it possible to read more than one book at a time?

I grew up loving books!

And whenever i think of childhood (which happens to be pretty often, now that i am getting older) , the main image that comes to mind is me, with my nose buried in a book, transported to whatever world the author is describing.

As soon as i opened a novel, i could not relax until i had read it right through, up to the very last page. And only when i had finished the novel, could i turn my attention to the next one.

I find that as i grow older, this is no longer the case. No more for me the ‘read one book at a time’ philosophy. Instead, a more frequently-occuring phenomenon is me giving in to the mood i may be in currently and then reading to please that mood.  For example, i am currently reading “Christmas Magic” by Cathy Kelly ( a collection of ‘feel-good’ short stories), ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’ (for the umpteenth time), ‘i want to write but don’t know where to start’ (a self-help book about writer’s block by Elizabeth Bezant) and ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ by Jhumpa Lahiri.

As you can see, all these do not belong to the same literary genre. And yet seem to cater to different moods and feelings. When i feel like sitting on the swing in my backyard, cup of coffee in one hand, book in the other, simply wanting light relief from day to day chores, it’s Cathy Kelly’s style that appeals.

When i am in a more reflective mood, sober and inward-looking, i prefer reading about Anne Frank.

On those occasions when i sit at the computer, staring at a blank screen, my Muse having temporarily deserted me, i read the book about writer’s block, which then assures me that i am not the first, nor will be the last to be daunted by the blank computer screen.

And whenever i think of being in no-man’s land, lost between two cultures, both equally beloved, i read Jhumpa Lahiri who seems to encapsulate so beautifully this dichotomy of cross-cultural feelings.

Amazing how four books can be read during a period of time, and be enjoyed equally.

Have you ever felt the same???

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