Musings From A Bookmammal

Booking Through Thursday–Are You A Reading Multi-tasker?


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Booking Through Thursday is a  weekly meme that asks questions about books and reading habits. This week’s questions are:

Do you do other things while you read? Watch TV? Cook? Brush your teeth? Knit? Or is it a quicker question to ask when you DON’T read?

books in pileI have some friends who only enjoy reading when they are in a cocoon of silence and are able to focus solely on their book. I respect that–I try to never interrupt someone who is reading–but I am NOT one of those people! I’ve learned to incorporate reading into many daily activities, and I’m still able to enjoy and retain what I read while doing so. I’m very good at multi-tasking, so being able to do several things at the same time is a definite plus when it comes to my reading habit!

I live alone, so I almost always read while I eat, unless I’m having something rather messy requiring two hands. It’s pretty difficult to read while eating barbecued ribs, or corn on the cob! I do love to read food memoirs though, and reading about food while eating food is just about as good as it gets! The only time I don’t read while eating is if I’m reading something particularly graphic in terms of violence or medical procedures. I just can’t mix those topics with food!

I also nearly always read while watching TV—I rarely just sit and watch television without doing something else at the same time, and I often choose reading as my accompanying activity. I also enjoy reading while listening to music.

I’m able to read when I’m exercising on my recumbent bike, but I don’t do it that often because I feel like I’m focusing more on the book than on getting my heart rate up. I also used to love to take long bubble baths, and reading in the tub is a great way to relax—lately, though, I’ve become more of a shower person—and even I haven’t been able to figure out a way to read while showering!

I don’t ever read while I’m actually driving—my rule is no reading while in the driver’s seat while the car is in motion!–but I do keep a book or magazine in my car at all times. I’ve been known to read at especially long stoplights and I’ve also read while in line at the carwash. I know that there are lots of folks who start to feel sick if they try to read while in a moving car, but I’ve never had that problem when I’ve wanted to read as a passenger.

I know that a lot of people enjoy reading while they cook. I’ve never tried this. I love to cook, but I’m usually too involved with what I’m cooking–or with cleaning the kitchen as I go– to spare time to read while doing so. However, I will read a few pages if I’m in the “waiting stage” of cooking something, like waiting for a cake to finish baking. Does that count?

I also don’t read while I’m walking, but again, there are a lot of folks out there who do. There’s a woman who works in my office complex who walks laps around the parking lot nearly every day—all while totally engrossed in a book. So far I’ve never seen her trip, so I guess she’s perfected that skill!

How about you? Do you do other things while you’re reading? Is there anything you can’t do while you read? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

15 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday–Are You A Reading Multi-tasker?

  1. I can’t really watch TV without doing something else as well except if it’s a very gripping documentary or movie. Otherwise it’s just background noise. I do try to clean the kitchen while I cook, which doesn’t mix well with reading. Nothing is worse than dropping a paperback into a loaded sink and having to scrape pasta of it! Here’s my BTT and I hope you have a good rest of the week 🙂
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    • I completely agree with you about the TV watching–unless it’s a very tight sporting event or a gripping news story, I’m almost always doing something else when I watch.
      I’ve never dropped a book into a full sink, thank goodness!

  2. I read on my lunch break. I read while I wait whether it is at the doctor’s office, under the hair dryer at the salon or waiting for a pot of water to boil. I read while I drive – audiobooks only of course! But I think I enjoy reading best when I am not multi tasking and can just get absorbed in the book 🙂

    • Very true–the best thing ever is when you can just sink into a book and block out the rest of the world. Unfortunately, a lot of times real life interferes with that!

      I’ve just started listening to audiobooks while I drive and I think it’s going to become a habit.

  3. Because I live by myself, if the TV is on, it’s for entertainment–so I’m not reading. Occasionally I will listen to music while reading. But I do knit and listen to audiobooks. And I have magazines in the car. I also get a couple digital copies of magazines so they’re on my devices, too.

  4. I have exactly the same problem with reading in the shower. If you ever do figure out a way, I’d love to hear it. Maybe if they’d make a waterproof eReader? Then you could read at the pool/beach too without having to worry about getting the pages of a book wet – and having them stick together…and tear… I do have some experience with that, unfortunately. Here’s my post:

  5. Because so much of my life already requires me to multitask, I prefer to pull out a book to read only when I can savor it. I will read while I’m waiting for appointments or while eating but that’s about it. There’s nothing like even thirty minutes to do nothing but sit, turn pages, and escape into another world.

  6. when I am reading & enjoying it, I can do nothing else….I get very engrossed if I enjoy a book 🙂

  7. I always used to need quiet to read, but have since learned to read while my husband watches TV. I always read in bed, don’t put the light out until my eyes are drooping. Pretty much read everywhere else, in the bath, on a train, waiting for an appointment, in a coffee shop etc. Always have a book with me! SD

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