The Biblio Buddy System

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.

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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!

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About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

31 Responses

  1. avathenerd

    I’ve never tried buddy reading, but it sure does sound like an awesome thing. Of course there are risks of accidental spoilers, but the fact that you’ll have someone to discuss and empathise with whenever there is any plot twist makes up for it. I think I would also prefer the reading-at-your-own-pace style.
    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I’m a nightmare to buddy read with. I hate spoilers when I ‘m reading a book, and I consider everything a spoiler. WHAT?!??! They had Chicken Marsala for supper? I haven’t gotten there yet! 😉

    Also, my reading schedule is so jam packed that if I fall behind, sometimes there’s no way to fit it in at the scheduled time. I love them, but I’ve backed off a bit because I just can’t seem to commit to a time frame.

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  3. This a great post! I love buddy reading with a friend that has a similar reading style as my own. Like you, I like the free form style of buddy reading, I also don’t mind if my buddy is reading faster than me. As long as we can talk about the book together from time to time. I usually ask “what part are you on?” to avoid spoilers in case I’m ahead of my buddy. Awesome informative post =)

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  4. I really enjoyed my first buddy read this past month. I have plans to do many more. I think as long as you have an open dialogue with your reading partner spoilers shouldn’t be to big of a problem. In my most recent one we kept telling each other what chapter we were on, and if we wanted to go past the allotted chapter quota for the week we talked about it.

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      1. Oh yes, we agreed in the beginning how many chapters a week to read and of course we liked the book so decided to read a little bit more. We would message each other just saying like I’m on chapter 12 what are you on? then we would discuss on a daily/weekly basis. It was super fun.

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  5. I’m doing my first buddy read right now! I think we’re going at our own pace because I’m a bit ahead. 😀 But I prefer it that way, and then coming back at the end with my buddy so we can discuss it. I’d love to buddy read with you sometime, if your free. 😊

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      1. Yes! I’ve never tied reviews before (still new at this) but I’m sure we can figure it out! 😀 And do you want to read at your own pace? Plus the book! What new book do you currently want to read?

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