Is Reading More Than One Book At Once Bad?

So many good books in the world and so little time, but it is a good idea to read more than one at the same time. I am sure we have all done this, right now there may be a couple of books on the bedside table, Well the answer many surprise you.

Reading multiple books concurrently should pose few if any negative issues for most people unless there are underlying issues. Conversely it can offer benefits including increased vocabulary, memorary improvements and more timing reading to both children and adults.

Although there is no single answer to the above question. Reading books is almost always a good thing. Reading more than one book at one time can be challenging, but it is not impossible. However, when reading with children, you need to be careful about how you take on this task. We will cover the good, the bad and the ugly related to reading multiple books with children and for yourself.


Below are the things that people are concerned might be disadvantages. While they may be disadvantages for some, do not let them hold you back. There were few real disadvantages to be found.


Many people become concerned that reading multiple books at once can cause confusion. While you wouldn’t necessarily want to drop one book and immediately pick up the next, you can rest assured that confusion can be minimized.

Children can recall several television shows at once. Even a three-year-old knows what sequence Mickey Mouse Clubhouse does things and the names and jobs of all the dogs on Paw Patrol.

Children and adults can recall several storylines from different books, shows, and movies at once. After all, kids and adults tend to like more than one thing!

Confusion can be a concern if you are not careful how and when you read to them. The act of reading different books does not inherently cause confusion. Consider reading different types of books to keep from confusing similar stories.

Think about reading a non-fiction and fiction book with different subjects.

Taking Longer

Some people may be concerned that reading multiple books will take longer to read them. However, you can probably still read about fifteen to thirty minutes from each book each day. Even if it takes a little longer, reading does not need to be a race.

Many teachers are not concerned with how many books students are reading. Instead, they are concerned with how much time they spend reading. Is there a set time that you must read a book?

Library checkouts are generally 14-21 days, but many of them let you renew if no one is waiting on the book.


Some people feel they cannot read more than one book because they do not want to like one book better than the other. That’s just silly. Of course, you will. Your children will too.

Sometimes, you will not like the same book. Does that matter? If you are reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, you will like one or the other better, and so will they.

It’s really not a big deal. If you read them one at a time, you are still going to feel the same way.


There are more advantages than disadvantages to reading, in general. However, reading multiple books at once can have some specific advantages.

Reading More Variety

By intentionally reading different genres, or styles, of books, you can increase the variety of books you read. You can find titles in many genres that you like and read them in many formats and places.

Increase Reading Time

Many people who read multiple books report more reading time. They want to read a little more about multiple subjects. Children may ask to read more often because they want to hear more of the story or information being presented.

Keep in mind that biographies and memoirs can also be non-fiction choices, so you don’t have to read a science book and a trade book simultaneously. If your child is really into dinosaurs, feel free to do just that.

Improved Memory

One consistent report by readers of multiple books is that they are exercising their memory more. They have to think a moment about the last scene in the book that they are reading.

Doing this can improve memory function altogether. The more that you use those brain cells, the more you improve their function.

Improved Vocabulary

It’s no secret that reading books improves vocabulary. Reading multiple books at once provides vocabulary from multiple sources. Fiction also has positive impacts on vocabulary, especially for children.

Incorporate challenging materials to boost this advantage even more.

How to Master Multiple Books at Once

There are many ways to read multiple books at once, but some children need some structure at first until they learn to juggle them.

Read at Certain Times

Read non-fiction in the morning and fiction at bedtime. This will help children maintain the separation between the texts if you are concerned.

You can also read one fiction genre on certain days of the week and another genre on other days.

Incorporate Audiobooks

Reading doesn’t have to be staring at words on a page. If you are reading with your child, he or she is listening to you tell the story.

Audiobooks are the same way. You are just listening to someone else’s voice. Hit the library’s digital collection to find some fabulous audiobooks.

Ask Questions

Ask your child questions about the books as you are reading. Interacting with them will improve comprehension, whether you are reading one book or five books.

Read with them daily and interact. Ask questions about motives, characters, and situations.

Final Thoughts

There are dozens of advantages to reading with your child. Introducing multiple texts at once can increase those advantages. You do not have to read challenging books all the time, either. One reader I know is reading a textbook, classic, and romance novel at once. For adults we watch multiple TV shows, juggle different tasks at work those same multi tasking tools are perfectly transferable when reading two books at the same time. However, putting a book in each hand and trying it, well that probably wont work 😛

About Making English Funn

Hi I’m Marc. A teacher of over 15 years, English, General Studies and Outdoor Education. Thought it was about time to sharing both what I have learnt during that time and the resources I have put together. On this site we aim to teach the theory and share our thoughts, but also go that one step further and give you access to the hard resources you need for your class or for you children

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

Similar Posts