For some of us, reading is a solitary activity enjoyed in quiet places and free from distractions. I’m never totally alone as Marnie is with me most of the time so I have some form of company, even if it is not human. However, lately, I have been thinking about reading with friends and what the benefits could be. So I decided to take the plunge and take a look at buddy reading and why I think you should give it a try.
But what is a buddy read?
Buddy reading is where you and a group of friends (or just your bestie) pick a book and read it at the same time. A bit like a book club, you come together either at the end or at milestones within the book to discuss the plot, characters and hear each others perspective on it. Unlike a book club, you get to pick which book you want to read. It is a great way to share experiences with your friends; all whilst enjoying your favourite books.
Sharing Your Reading Experience
Reading with someone else allows you to share the experience of reading. You can discuss the plot, the characters, and your favourite quotes at great length with snacks, coffee or a glass of wine if you prefer! Sharing your reading experience with someone can deepen your understanding of the book, and you may even pick up on details you might have missed had you read alone.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to motivate yourself to read, particularly if you have hit a reading slump. A bit like being part of a book club, buddy reading can help keep you accountable and also foster a sense of excitement/want to read. Knowing that your friend is also reading the same book can motivate you to keep up with your reading schedule. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment as you and your friend work through the book together. And don’t worry about the inadvertent pressures you may feel from fast readers on bookstagram. Go at your own pace and enjoy your read – you don’t need to wrack up the numbers!
Reading with a friend can offer unique perspectives on the book you’re reading. Everyone has their perspective and interpretation of a book, and sharing it with a friend can help you see the story from a different angle. You may even discover how differently you read books and enjoy them. From my experience, this has been the most valuable part of a buddy read as you start uncovering different views on a particular scene or character. Welcome the debate!
A Sense of Community
When we are with fellow book lovers, it’s hard not to be drawn to activities that create a sense of community. Buddy reading is just another one of those examples – it’s an activity that brings people together. When you’re reading with a friend, you’re sharing something you both love, and that can strengthen your friendship. It’s always nice to have something in common with a friend and books are a perfect way to bond!
Introducing New Books
When you read with a friend, you open yourself up to new books and genres. Your friend may suggest a book or author you never would have considered reading, and it could become your new favourite. Buddy reading can expand your metaphorical reading net and introduce you to new voices and stories.
Buddy reading is ultimately a fun and zero-pressure activity. It can deepen your love of reading and connect you more deeply with your friends. You don’t need to be a serious reader to do it nor do you need to follow the latest bestsellers – it’s all about what books you fancy trying.
So tell me, is buddy reading something you’ll try?
If you have tried it, leave a comment below about your experience!