So, I'm really getting into this whole "simultaneous" thing. There was a time when I wouldn't work on more than one project at once, for fear that I would drop the other. It really comes down to, being in two different phases of the work. Like I wouldn't write two rough drafts at once, because to me, that's a recipe for badness. (Although this isn't a judgment on someone else's process. If you write more than one rough draft at once and it works for you, more power to you!)
Now I'm starting to let this carry over into reading. Right now I'm reading a book that is kind of hard to get through. I like it, it's good, but it's just not something I can pick up and not want to put down. I know that sounds insane. How can I really be drawn in by the characters and story if I can so easily put it down? I'm not sure really. Maybe the author's style doesn't quite jibe with me. That happens sometimes. I'm not sure what it is, but I want to keep reading it.
At the same time though...I'm stalling out on it and it WILL take me forever to get through it. And I've committed myself to reading 50 novels this year because I think reading is so very important to being serious about writing. To make a commitment to write is also to make a commitment to read.
So I'm considering adding this multi-tasking attitude to reading and read more than one novel at once. Hell, I'm writing on more than one at once, if I can do that, I can read more than one at once. This way I can take my time and meander through this difficult, but still very worthwhile novel, while not slowing down my progress on my 50 novels in a year thing.
The other day I commented in the magical musings blog, that I tend to not read flashbacks in novels. Usually they slow down the story for me and at the end it's very rare for me to honestly say: "Gee, I really wish I'd read that flashback, because the story doesn't make sense." Usually it does make sense. Sometimes flashback enriches a story, but often it just slows it down and gives me a stopping place to put the book down.
As I've grown more serious about writing, my attitudes toward reading have changed. For example...I don't feel it necessary to plunge through a novel I don't like. I just cut my losses and stop reading. If I get to a flashback that doesn't just immediately drag me in, I skip it and go back to reading the front story. Now I'm considering reading two novels at once on those occasions that I get to a "difficult" novel that I still want to read but that is slowing me down.
Does anyone else read more than one novel at once? What are your attitudes toward reading, as a writer?