Discussion – Why I Love Buddy Reading!


Hello everyone,

I hope you are well and having a lovely week so far. 🥰

One of the many wonderful things I have discovered as a book blogger is buddy reading. What began for me as a new and unfamiliar concept has become something that I absolutely love doing and always look forward to, such is the amount that have gained from it, both in terms of improving my knowledge and connecting with others.

For those who don’t know, buddy reading is where two or more people decide on a book which they read together, pausing at various intervals to discuss their thoughts and opinions, sometimes asking each other questions.

When I started my first buddy read, I was a little bit nervous and never expected to end up loving it so much, but now it is something I find incredibly rewarding for lots of different reasons.


How I Got Into Buddy Reading

I began as a book blogger at the start of 2018, and it took me a long time to get used to all of the acronyms and terminology. I had no idea what a buddy read even was, so when my friend Gem asked me one day if I would like to do one with her, I was not really sure what she meant! The word ‘buddy’ was obviously a clue, but I still had to Google it to see what it really entailed.

Once I knew what it actually was, we agreed on a book and started reading it that summer. It did not go so smoothly at first, but once I became used to it I started to understand the concept more and really enjoy the discussions we were having. They were always in-depth, and it was such a lot of fun to share ideas.

We did another buddy read together not so long after that, and by now it felt more natural. Once again, we both enjoyed the book and it gave us plenty to talk about, so it was another really positive experience. Since then, I have gone on to do 12 more buddy reads with six different book blogging friends, and I am about to start on another one.

That just shows how much I have come to like buddy reading, so without further ado, here are the reasons why!

Different Perspectives on Books

When you read a book with somebody else, it is a wonderful opportunity for each participant to share their own ideas about it when the time comes to discuss. You may have certain thoughts about the book and where the story might be going, but the other person might be thinking something else entirely, and that enables you to look at it from a different perspective.

The other person may have spotted something significant that you might have missed, or come up with a theory that you have not even considered. They may also be able to provide an extra insight or an opinion about why a particular event in the book happened, or what factors might have led to a character acting in a certain way.

The sharing of ideas and predictions is not only fun, it really allows you to build a very broad perspective of the book and to look at it from several different angles. This is especially the case with mysterious or more complex books, or those that provoke a greater emotional response, as it gives us even more to talk about.

It Strengthens Friendships

I am so grateful to have made a lot of friends in the book blogging community, and buddy reading has helped me connect with some of them even more. I totally feel that with buddy reading, I am sharing an experience with somebody else, and although almost all of our discussion is about the book, in the process we get to know each other better and enhances the friendship. In the end, I find that just as rewarding as the reading itself.

When Gem first suggested that we do a buddy read, we had already been friends for several months. Since then, we have gone on to read a total of six books together, including two that we both rated five stars. We get along so well, and during our buddy reads we often like to share predictions and analyse the writing in great detail.

It took me some time to find the confidence to ask another book blogging friend to buddy read, but finally in the summer of 2019, I asked Pauliina if she wanted to read The Familiars by Stacey Halls. I was so glad when she said yes! We share a love of historical fiction, and we have recently finished our third buddy read. Our discussions are very in-depth and Pauliina is so good at noticing little things in the narrative that are not immediately obvious.

I am also about to start my third buddy read with Kriti! She posted a tweet a year ago which I replied to, asking other book bloggers if they wanted to buddy read something with her. Most of my buddy read discussions take place via messaging, but with Kriti, we take it in turns to ask each other questions about the book in a Google doc. That is a lot of fun, as that really helps to bring out the extra perspective that I am talking about.

I have also done one buddy read apiece with Rumaanah, Kelly, and Noly. I really enjoyed them all, and hopefully they will be the first of many. The focus is primarily on the book you are reading together, but the friendships that come as a result are even more special.

It Makes You Feel Motivated

When I arrange a buddy read, I always look ahead to it with anticipation and I find that it makes me feel more motivated for the book. Sometimes it is just having that knowledge that someone is reading the very same book with you and I would then engage with it even more than if I was reading it on my own.

Sometimes, the other person inspires you and there are certainly moments where I have thought about certain aspects of the book in more detail during a buddy read so that I can help to create a more productive and wide-ranging discussion. There is also that extra degree of hope that we both up end up enjoying the book! A buddy read is never a bad thing, but it is truly special when the book we have chosen turns out to be brilliant.

The Reading Experience

For a buddy read, I find that the experience begins some time before I actually start reading the book. The first thing is initially agreeing to do the buddy read and deciding together on a book. Then, we quite often let each other know when we have the book, sometimes sending a photo of it to mark the occasion!

In addition to gaining a greater range of perspectives on the book, buddy reading helps you to get more out of it, through the discussions you have. It gives you a greater connection with the story and the ability to analyse it in more detail.

But the most rewarding thing of all is that you are sharing it with a friend. That is never better than when we both love the book. When that happens, we are experiencing that reading journey together and falling in love with it at the same time, sending each other very cheerful messages. For example, Noly and I finished The Travelling Cat Chronicles last week and we both absolutely adored it and were swept away by its emotional ending. That kind of thing makes buddy reading extra special!


Let’s Chat

Have you ever done a buddy read? If so, do you enjoy it and what do you think makes it special? Let me know in the comments!

By the way, I would love to buddy read with even more book blogging friends. Let me know if you would be interested!

Happy reading 🙂

40 thoughts on “Discussion – Why I Love Buddy Reading!

  1. I had never really come across it while blogging but it has turned out be such a massive thing on Instagram and I just did my first group buddy read this month and already have another lined up! I was a bit confused about what it meant at first too 😂 I have absolutely loved it so far as well though and you are definitely right about its ability to bring other perspectives to the reading experience!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I totally agree on the motivation and perspectives bit.
    I first co-read back in the fall of 2008 and have been doing it since. My first buddy read book was The Stranger by Camus. The last one was The Book Thief that I read couple of months back with our mutual twitter friend Holly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh wow! I loved the whole discussion. While I know what buddy reading is, I never actually have buddy read a book with anyone. So, I would love to buddy read a book with anyone who is wanting to do the same.

    I would love to explore new genres and new interests through it!!🌟🌟

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I haven’t buddy read ever. I need to find a buddy to read a book with first. But I love the idea. I’m participating in read along, I like discussing a common question and readers sharing their thoughts during read along but it’s not same as buddy read. Great post, Stephen!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I LOVE this discussion post! ❤️
    I always appreciate your voice so much.👏🏻 I personally have buddy reading a couple of times and really enjoyed it, although I don’t know if I’m that good at it. 😅
    Still, I love the relationships you can build thanks to them and it’s fun to have different opinions and chat about it. 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sofii! I’m really glad you enjoyed! 🥰🥰 Exactly, it’s great to discuss opinions on the book and build that relationship with other readers.
      I’m sure you are really good at buddy reading. Maybe we could buddy read something one day? ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  6. One blogger wanted to buddy read with me, but while I liked the idea, we couldn’t find a book we both had to do it with, and plus, I read so slowly (because of my dyslexia) I am afraid I couldn’t keep up with the other/s.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Omg this is such a lovely dicussion and I love all your points. I have a… unique experience with buddy reading. I love planning them, and reading with friends. But I also can be bad at actually doing the reading welp, I like to be super lowkey. No like set pages or anything, not my vibe. I don’t like being forced to read and catch up because I feel like it makes the experience less enjoyable. But yeah I do love screaming about books with friends, its the best <3<3

    xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ruby! They are such a lot of fun to plan and being able to read with friends is one of my favourite things of all.
      Do you mean that you sometimes struggle with being set a particular place to stop and discuss? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great discussion post! I personally tried buddy reading for the first time recently and I absolutely loved it! I’d anything, it made me enjoy the book we were reading even more than I would have if I was reading it on my own!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a wonderful post and sums up all the best things about buddy reads – it’s especially nice to have that company when reading and it definitely gives you a point of view on the book, you might not have thought about before. I really enjoyed when we did our buddy read of The Binding, we should definitely do it again one day!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. love this discussion! i’m also a big fan of buddy reading, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned! i always am more motivated to read a book faster/finish it when i have someone else to keep me accountable, and it definitely enhances the reading experience as you said. i also feel like it helps me flesh out my thoughts about a book better, and all our messages are great for me to come back to when i write reviews haha!!

    Like

  11. I’ve never seen this in the blogging
    world but mentioned a little in the booktube community. I personally haven’t had any opportunities for this but would absolutely love to do this with someone, I like whole different perspective on the same thing! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was such a great post Stephen and I completely agree with everything you said! I adore buddy reading with blogger friends too, it’s actually funny that Dave put this post up as blog of the day today because I was thinking of asking you if you wanted to do a buddy read after I saw you read that great book with Noly last week! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love buddy reading books with a friends 😊
    I discovered buddy reading on Instagram and eventually over the years I’ve been a part of many buddy reads and I have enjoyed all of them 😊
    This post has made me realise that I haven’t buddy read with someone in a while, I need to change that

    Like

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