It’s debated, if it’s a good to read multiple books at the same time. I know many are dead against it. They say that they need to give their undivided attention to only one book at a time. For me, it’s different. I have always dabbled with more than two books at any given time.

The first reason for this is content. If I have 5-6 instances during the day when I wish to read, say, for 10-20 mins, and its not always feasible to read the same content all the time. Depending on my mood, the content in a book may or may not be captivating enough for me to read. Not to miss the chance to read, nevertheless, I prefer to keep my options open.

Second reason for reading multiple books is a very obvious one. Different formats. So depending on the situation, I might want to read a physical book, an ebook on my phone (never bought a kindle, but use kindle software on my phone) or listen to a book on audible app (I am huge fan!).

The reason I got motivated to write this post is because currently I am reading four books by four great authors and (rarity in non-fiction), each of them are un-put-down-able.

Reading in parallel 1
My early morning book to read is Seeking Wisdom — from Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin. This is a masterpiece. Recommended by a friend, this book has wealth of wisdom, that might otherwise have taken generations to capture, is neatly drafted in 300 odd pages. Peter has done thorough research on works of luminaries right from Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Warren Buffet all the way to Buffet’s parter Charles Munger. Its a Must Must Must Read.

Some notable quotes from Seeking Wisdom:

“I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart”- Charlie Munger

“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart.”- Confucius

Human beings have spent more than 99% of their evolutionary history in the hunter gatherer environment. If we compress 4 million years into 24 hours, and if the history of humans began at midnight, agriculture made its appearance on the scene 23 hours and 55 minutes later.

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Reading in parallel 2

As I go for my morning walk  to the gym, I plug on my headphones to listen to Oprah Winfrey share some valuable insights of her life in “What I know for Sure”. What I find most remarkable is the simple language used and ‘honesty’. The details about Oprah’s early life and what all she went through are a great source of learning and inspiration.

Some beautiful quotes from What I know for Sure:

“What I love most about reading: It gives you the ability to reach higher ground. And keep climbing” ― Oprah Winfrey, What I Know For Sure

“There is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are each responsible for our own life. If you’re holding anyone else accountable for your happiness, you’re wasting your time. You must be fearless enough to give yourself the love you didn’t receive.” ― Oprah Winfrey, What I Know For Sure

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Reading in parallel 3
The timing to read a digital/e-book is an interesting one. We have our phone with us most of the time nowadays, including the loo. We spend too much time flipping across screens, scrolling social media feeds for stuff which we have no use of and it does not add any value to our lives anyway. Instead, I open my Kindle and start reading a book. Of course, the content of the e-book cannot be the ‘Seeking Wisdom’ types, hence I am selective on what I read on the phone.

Recommended by Prahlad Rajkumar, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” is a classic book by Richard Carlson, a promising author who unfortunately died at the young age fo 45, not before authoring some awesome books, the most famous among them are the “Don’t Sweat…” series. I was struck by the story author describes in the Introduction.:

Apparently, Richard had told the editor to wait for his confirmation before including endorsement from the famous writer Wayne Dyer. Just because Wayne had endorsed his previous book, it was not correct to assume he would endorse this one. But due to slip in communication, while Richard was still waiting for a response from Wayne, the publisher went ahead and published the book with the endorsement. Before asking the publisher to withdraw the book from the market, Richard made one more attempt to reach out to Wayne for his approval, and apologise for huge error on his part. Wayne Dyer’s response to such a critical matter was mind-blowing. “Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all Small Stuff”.

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Reading in parallel 4
As I wind up the normal day, prefer reading for 20-25 mins before sleeping. Something like “Seeking Wisdom” would not work. What works decently well is ‘The Art of Possibility”. This is another very popular best seller written by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander’s experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander’s genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillments.

Some notable quotes from “The Art of Possibility”

“We keep looking so hard in life for the “specific message,” and yet we are blinded to the fact that the message is all around us, and within us all the time. We just have to stop demanding that it be on OUR terms or conditions, and instead open ourselves to the possibility that what we seek may be in front of us all the time ”― Rosamund Stone Zander, The Art of Possibility

“When one person peels away layers of opinion, entitlement, pride, and inflated self-description, others instantly feel the connection” ― Rosamund Stone Zander, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

“In the measurement world, you set a goal and strive for it. In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold” ― Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

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Of course, more important than reading the book, is ability to absorb all the knowledge in our mind and more importantly, trying to implement the learnings in our lives, as and when we can. The other key point is to share about the books with other people, hope you will find the reviews useful.

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Hetal Sonpal

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