11 Tips for Buddy-Reading

Hey, friends! I’m back with some buddy-reading tips. I’ve done a lot of buddy-reading in my time. Some were good experiences, others weren’t. Some were amazing! So here are a couple things I learned about buddy-reading over the years.

1. It’s a commitment. 

Buddy-reading is a commitment. You are promising to read a certain book with a certain person during a certain time. As far as possible, you need to stick to that commitment! The other person is counting on you. It’s not something you can start and then abandon by the wayside if you don’t feel like it. If you choose to buddy-read, know what you are setting yourself up for. Reading with someone who won’t honour that commitment is really frustrating.

2. Pick the right kind of person or else be flexible/understanding.

By which I mean, pick someone who reads like you. Do you read every day? Pick someone who does. Do you only read once a week, or once every two weeks? Pick someone who does the same. If you can’t, pick someone who will be understanding of your rushing ahead or lagging behind. ;P I remember one buddy who was super understanding of me being stressed and on a tight schedule. She had to fall back because of stuff in her life, but was perfectly fine with me going ahead and her catching up when she could. We had an AMAZING buddy-read, even if it wasn’t perfect!

3. Don’t choose a bad time!

Don’t choose to buddy-read just before you move, or in the middle of exam week. If someone suggests a buddy-read at an inconvenient time, suggest a later date where you can do it. Ignoring schedules is bad for both buddy readers. Scheduling ahead of time so you know it’s coming up is really helpful. A friend and I just made plans to read a book together in February and even chose a start date. So now I know that in February, I need to add that to my schedule and remember that it’s in my plans.

Impromptu, unplanned buddy-reads are fun too. But be sure you can do it and haven’t overloaded your plate.

4. Pick a book both will like.

Keep in mind what type of book you’re reading together. If one of you hates romance, make sure you don’t pick one with excessive romance. If one is American, don’t pick a Civil War book from the point of view opposite of their side. Of course, if you’re both willing to work through it and read the book with an open mind, go for it!! That is amazing. But sometimes it is wise to avoid books that might cause conflicting sentiments. 😉

5. Remember there will be different POVs.

Be prepared that maybe you and your friend won’t have the same opinion on the book. That’s okay. Neither side needs to feel bad necessarily. One might rate the book 1 star and the other 4 or 5 stars. That’s okay. Of course, if one of you really hates the book and wants to ditch it, I suggest going for it. No book is worth a friendship.

6. Make sure you have the same editions.

We don’t want one buddy to have an abridged version and the other to have the extended! And having the same edition is important if you will be going by page numbers. Also, be sure to let each other know if you are using library books or Archive books because that plays into the whole thing. And be sure to know the due dates of your book to be done in time.

7. Make time to chat.

A buddy-read without chatting is very boring. XD And it doesn’t really feel like a buddy-read at all. If you’re going to do a buddy-read, make sure to carve out time to chat about it. Otherwise, it’s pretty pointless.

8. Be understanding. 

Know that sometimes, stuff comes up that we can’t help. If your buddy has to lag behind or read ahead because of an unavoidable circumstance, be understanding. 🙂 Life happens, and it’s not the end of the world. Definitely don’t vent on your poor buddy! 😉

9. If you can’t do it, consider stopping or postponing.

If something comes up and you can’t finish the buddy-read for a long time, consider telling your buddy that you’re just going to drop out and they can finish the book on their own, so they’re not waiting for you. Or suggest postponing the buddy-read until later, depending on how far you are into the book. Some people are okay with books dangling on unfinished for months. Others aren’t. Be sure to check with your buddy to see what they would prefer. And if they ask you, be honest, but be kind 🙂

10. Don’t fight, and be respectful of the other POV.

If you and your buddy end up with conflicting opinions on topics touched in the book, don’t fight. Chatting it over kindly and respectfully is good. But don’t let emotions heat the conversation and cause a big break-up between the two of you. No book is worth it.

11. Have fun!!!

Fangirl. Share your favourite scenes. Talk about what you learned in the book. Discuss the writing style. Dissect the plot. Research the historical period. Swap favourite quotes. Make the book yours! Some of my favourite book-related memories are…

  • making a case-book and writing down all the clues from the mystery we were reading, and discussing the case to solve the mystery before the book did;
  • listening to the music mentioned in the book while we read;
  • creating ships for every male & female that showed up in the book;
  • researching poems & books mentioned in the story;
  • discussing the characters at length;
  • video-calling each other to fangirl;
  • discussing the spiritual lessons…

I could name way more. There are plenty of opportunities. One buddy and I even created a reading guide! So have fun. 🙂

Each buddy-read is unique because so many factors play into it. The bottom line is, be a good buddy in every way. 🙂 Buddy-reads can be the most amazing and enjoyable memories, if both are committed to make this work! Putting work into your buddy-read is well worth it. Badly done buddy-reads can have lasting and negative consequences. Don’t let a book wreck a friendship. Ever.

Do you have any tips I haven’t mentioned here?

Published by Katja L.

Hello! :) I'm Katja. I'm a Canadian bibliophile, book reviewer, writer, and child of God. I love too many things to name, but among them are chocolate, heirlooms, history, fancy handwriting, grammar & punctuation, laughter, tearjerking books, lists, organized bookshelves, pink roses, flowing skirts, hymns, and pretty much anything old-fashioned, beautiful, & classy.

8 thoughts on “11 Tips for Buddy-Reading

  1. Loved this post, Katja! Thanks!
    Once my life slows down a little (who am I kidding? XD Once I get my days scheduled better, because they aren’t slowing down), one of my good friends and I are planning to do a buddy-read of a book we’ve both read and loved already – so I’ll have these things in mind, even though it’ll be a little different because it’s a reread. This post makes me excited for our buddy read!!! 😀

    –Abby Elissa

    Liked by 1 person

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