Like Peas and Maple Syrup

The Egg and ISounds like a nasty combination, doesn’t it? Unless you like that sort of thing, I suppose. As many of you know, I am slowly, and I mean slowly, working my way through The Stand. It’s long, and sometimes a bit bland (in my opinion, of course), but it’s not the only thing that I am reading. I am also reading The Egg and I, an absolutely wonderful, short book full of truth, humour, nostalgia, and life lessons. It’s a book that my grandfather gave me many years ago, and I have read it more than once.

It’s a tale about a woman who is taught to follow her husband’s dreams, and this particular woman’s husband dreams of raising chickens in the middle of nowhere. Her wit and intelligence cause me to chuckle to myself. Sometimes I even have to put the book down to let out a nice “guffaw”. I couldn’t recommend this book enough, but I’m guessing it’s not easy to find. If you can’t find that, try Dove. That one’s not about chickens, or doves for that matter, but it’s still a favourite of mine.

On my night table, I also have a book of Gary Larson comics, some fantasy book that I can’t remember the name of, and a book by Mary Stewart from her Crystal Cave series. I generally have more than one book on the go, and I pick which one I want to read based on my mood. But once in awhile, I will have a few books going that just do not mesh well together. This is the case with Stephen King and Betty MacDonald. Instead of peas and carrots, it’s more like peas and maple syrup. A mess of slops that leaves your brain yelling insults at your mouth.

Both books are good. In fact, both books are extremely enjoyable. One is about a religion-themed apocalypse, and the other is about a woman who hates chickens. The two books do not complement each other. They do not have the same style, tone, or even genre. It’s my fault for reading too many books at once, but usually I find ways to enjoy them both. If I am busy with other things, the lighter read will do. If I am at home and the rain is pounding its fists against my windows, the heavier read is appropriate. I can sink into either one like a warm bath if the timing is right.

But not with these two. I am finding it extremely difficult to stay focused on one and not the other. It probably doesn’t help that I have read one of them multiple times, and the other never before. I’ve never had this much trouble with reading two books at once and I find it strange. It makes reading a bit daunting. I’ve crossed-over between genres and styles and so on a million times before. I suppose I will just have to focus on one and finish it before continuing the other. Unless anyone else has a better suggestion.

Have you ever read two (or more) books at once that just didn’t work together at all? What were they, and how did you fix it?

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7 thoughts on “Like Peas and Maple Syrup

  1. I tried writing two different books at once. Trust me, it was not easy at all. One was the sequel to my sci-fi novel, the other is the thriller I’m currently working on. They are two very different books, in terms of genre, tone, plot, chapter length, and so many other factors. I’m surprised I got as far as I did before I stopped and said “Enough!”

    Though I might have continued on if my coursework for school hadn’t gotten as heavy as it did. That caused me to pause on both books. Then when the semester ended and all I had was a part-time job and essays for my study abroad trip and scholarships, I finished the sci-fi sequel. Now I’m trying to finish the thriller. With any luck, I’ll be done by the end of the month and able to edit the sci-fi novel.

  2. I used to read only one book at a time. Now, I read multiple books at the same time. I approach books like I approach television shows. I watch multiple television shows at the same time (not in the same hour of course), and if the story lines are different enough from each other, there isn’t a problem. I read books of very different genres at the same time, and I don’t mix up the stories because the books are so different from each other. However, if I was reading say 4 historical fiction novels about the War of the Roses, I would probably not be able to keep up. But reading different types of books at the same time works fine for me.

    • I can understand that. These are vastly different books, but they just won’t live together in my head right now. I usually have more than one on the go but these won’t fit.

  3. I don’t read two books at once. I’m already incredibly easily distracted, so if I read two books at once, even when I know both of them well, I get the plots mixed up. My best chance not to is if they are vastly different, which is why maybe I can keep webcomics straight, but not books.

    • I have always had multiple books on the go, but I think work it throwing me off right now. I am still adjusting to managing my time differently, and to spending even more time reading and writing than before, and this time it leaves less opportunity to do it for pleasure.

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