“Multi-tasking” is a word that originated from the computer world. As I have belonged to that world for a long time, I probably knew it before it became common parlance. In that sense, it doesn’t really mean that a computer performs several tasks at once. It means that the computer performs one task at a time, but can hop between the tasks so quickly that it appears to us to perform them simultaneously.
Do humans multi-task in the same way, or do we really have the ability to do more than one thing at a time? I think the answer is the latter – up to a point. If women are considered to be better at multi-tasking than men, why am I so bad at it? I think that’s because I’m too busy thinking about what other people think of me. I multi-task even before I try to do something else as well.
Anyway, that was just a preamble to telling you that I’ve been reading two books at once – in the computer sense, that is. A chapter from here and a chapter from there.
One of the books was The Dark Threads by Jean Davison, about the true and awful years during which the author was misdiagnosed as being mentally ill. I was very moved by this story and might devote another post to it.
The other was a pocket novel. Pocket novels are (or have been up to now) romances with happy endings. They enable readers to escape from the real world and lose themselves in a world where everything comes right in the end.
The two books couldn’t be more different and complemented each other perfectly. I was able to escape from a real and frightening world whenever I wanted to.
I remember school teachers telling us not to start reading a book before finishing the previous one. I can’t remember why. Perhaps they thought the first book would probably remain unfinished.
Do you multi-read?