It would be easy to dismiss it as simply a mood thing but while that plays into it for sure, it's not the whole story. If I'm in the car and get stopped for a train, I inevitably pick up my car copy (doesn't everyone have a spare book in their car for things like this?) and start reading. This copy is also good for doctors appointments or anything where I might get stuck standing in a long line when I've forgotten to bring along the book I'm most focused on. But then I might get most focused on the car book and bring it into the house, necessitating another book sliding into the car copy slot, at which point the cycle can start again. Sometimes I am absent minded enough to set a book down somewhere in the house and forget where I've put it; if you saw the sheer number of books all over the place here, you'd understand better how that can happen. Then I have to pick up a new book and start it. I try to start books I have reading deadlines for early enough so that if they aren't grabbing me right away, I can take a break and read something else to put me in the mood first. And sometimes the weather is a driving factor in my starting and then either setting aside or just dipping periodically into many books. Right now the weather is dismal and it makes me unable to settle with a book. I pick up and start one, feel restless, and set it back down. Lather, rinse, repeat. The lack of sunlight changes what I want to read so if I have things in progress that aren't meeting that, they will not be my principle book any longer. Sometimes a book comes into the house that I just can't put on a shelf and must start reading immediately (no rhyme or reason for this one since I am truly excited to read every book that comes into my house) and so it gets added to the stack on the nightstand.
These are just a handful of reasons that I've noticed recently and they are probably only a handful in a sea of many. Who knows how many reasons I might have to read in amuse bouche like segments. Oddly enough, despite this raft of reasons to have multiple books on the go, I'm not always a simultaneous reader. Unlike so many people, I waffle back and forth on my reading style, sometimes I read one at a time and sometimes I wallow in a buffet of books. If you read more than one book at a time, have you ever looked at what is going on around you when you choose to pick up the next book to add to your in progress list?
My book travels this week took me on a Puerto Rican escape with a woman who heard a cancer diagnosis and that her husband was gay all in the same day. I read letters, some to real men and some to hypothetical men, that detailed one woman's life so far. I went to the Iowa town that is the center of the transcendental meditation practice in the US with a former California weatherman who just wanted to return home to his solid, Midwestern roots. I am still at the medical clinic with a father hoping to have his son "resurrected." And I am entrenched in upper class Britain between the wars with a family modeled after the Mitfords. Where have your bookish travels taken you this past week?