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The 4 Books I’m Always Reading

Patricia Thang

Senior Contributor

Patricia Thang is an educator located in Los Angeles. Though a native Angeleno through and through, her heart also belongs to Tokyo, where much of her family is from. Besides books, she is an enthusiastic devourer of many things, including podcasts, television, and J-pop. She realizes there’s not enough time in the world to consume all of that content, but she’s trying anyway. Other endeavors to which she has dedicated herself include cuddling her dogs until they’re annoyed and taste-testing every vegan ice cream she can find. Twitter: @aintnopthang

Like many readers out there, I like reading multiple books at once. There are undoubtedly any number of ways folks navigate multi-book reading, but I usually split my reads into four categories so I can easily designate based on mood and situation. Here’s a rough breakdown of how I differentiate all the books I’m reading at any given time.

The Main Event

This one’s pretty obvious. It’s the book I’m most excited about, the one I just have to read right this second. (Alright, it’s more like the book I just had to read about two years ago, and I’ve finally uncovered it again from within my never-ending TBR pile, but, you know.) It’s the book that grabs a hold of you, that makes you want to curl up and get lost inside it forever. Any book you’re particularly excited about can fit into this category.

The Comic Relief

My “main event” books tend to be on the dark or emotionally heavy side, so I often have something comforting and light to complement the overwhelming feelings. Books in this category are often humorous and/or come from a familiar series or author.

The Brain Workout

The difficult book. To be honest, this book is a challenge to get through. It takes a lot of brainpower and the going can be slow, but at the end, you’ve learned and accomplished something! For me, these are often books in a foreign language or on a topic that I find difficult to understand.

The Multitasker

As I’m sure most Book Riot readers can understand, I have often found myself spending random spare moments, no matter how short they are, reading (or wishing I had a book with me because what a waste of a good minute and a half!). The books in this category are the ones that you can bring with you into a non-reading situation in case of a free moment here or there. For instance, I read a page or two during commercials while watching TV. These books can be consumed in tiny bite-sized pieces — even just a couple sentences at a time — without losing track or context. Often these can be rereads or nonfiction on a familiar topic.

Readers, how do you break down your reads? If you see any overlap with your own habits, or have a completely unique strategy, let us know in the comments!