Do you love Buddy Reads? Do you hate them? Have you not taken part in one?
I’m pretty sure, for all the obvious reasons, I love them. If this were a Pro/Con list there would be one big tally mark in the pro column, simply because who wouldn’t choose to have someone right there to discuss every twist and turn with? You have someone to talk to as everything happens. In my opinion, violent crimes aside, there’s nothing worse than having something to say and nobody to listen.
I did say I’m only pretty sure I love them, though. I’m definitely not positive. The world is full of fickle readers, and we all have our own reading styles and routines. When two very different readers don’t mesh, buddy reading is problematic. Those speed bumps have been on my mind lately, so I decided it was time to make a list.
Buddy Reading Pitfalls
♦ Have you determined what kind of reader you are? Are you a slow reader, or a fast reader? That’s important. If you’re a slow reader and your buddy is a fast reader, than you’ll pretty much be reading by yourself, since your faster friend will be done long before you.
This actually doesn’t bother me. I don’t care if I’m behind my friend, because I get to talk about whatever I want and I don’t have to guard my words. I also don’t mind when I’m faster, because I also get the anticipation of knowing what’s in store. I get pleasure out of knowing and watching the reactions of my buddy!
♦ What kind of buddy read works for you? There’s the free form version of buddy reading, where you and your friend read at your own pace and it usually turns out like my first bullet point up there, with one moving faster than the other. However, if that doesn’t work for one of you, there’s the regulated Buddy Read style where you set a nightly limit and stay reading at the same pace.
I prefer the former buddy read style. I don’t do well with regulated reading. If it’s a book I hate, I don’t want to feel forced to read. If it’s a book I love, I can’t hold myself back. I prefer we both read at our pace and let everything work itself out. Despite my preferences, there are upsides to regulated reading. It works well for in depth discussion because you’re not forgetting anything, and thus having to keep notes. I imagine being more regulated works well in book clubs. Also, you stand less chance of…
♦ SPOILERS! The feared, dreaded, most despised nemesis of a reader. I always tell myself that I’ll have to assume a certain amount of risk. I’m reading a book with someone else, it means I no longer have 100% control. I also know accidents happen, even when we’re trying not to spoil. I’ve gotten the sequence of a plot wrong before and accidentally revealed something I thought my buddy had already read. I felt terrible.
I don’t go out looking for spoilers, but if I get one then I’m alright. If you aren’t like me, and really hate them (because I know more than one reader who’s a stickler about them), you’ll definitely want to proceed with caution!
Regardless of any problems Buddy Reads may bring, I still love them. I’m happy to roll with the punches because I think the benefits hold more weight.
What do you think? Are there any negatives I’m missing? Do you think the negatives are less important than the benefits?
Bring on opinions!