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I'd be careful about that - connecting batteries in series is pretty straightforward and has been done forever, but if they are in parallel then all the batteries will be forced to have the same voltage. That can be a BIG problem if you're mixing types (alkaline, standard, any of the rechargeable chemistries), but even if you're using the same type, batteries will have different voltages - the higher voltage battery(s) will be forcing current into the lower voltage battery(s) and most non-rechargeables aren't supposed to have current forced into them.
This is probably not a problem if you use identical batteries from a new pack (mismatch will be minimal and drain will even out/become balanced after a short amount of use, but I'd be really wary of throwing in mismatched batteries or used batteries with different levels of charge.
Disclaimer: I'm not a battery expert (but I am an electrical engineer).