Welcome back to my discussion feature, Freadom Speaks!
I was drawing a blank as it always seems to happen when it comes to my discussion posts so I asked some lovely friends for help and my beautiful buddy Abby suggested that I talk about book clubs and buddy reads and it seemed like a great idea, so that’s what we’re talking about to day! I can’t say I have a lot of experience but I have been part of quite a few buddy reads and I want to talk about why they’re so much fun and some simple tips that I feel makes them flow very well.
SO let’s get started!
I’ve been part of various book clubs and buddy reads since I became a part of the book community in 2014. Currently, I’m part of a book club with Abby @ Abby Readsn and Gervan @ by G.J. Alvi which we call the Mom Book Club because we all have a tendency to mother our friends and I have a buddy read going with Aldii @ Perfection In Books called Potter Challenge. I’ve also had buddy reads with Abby and Gervan separately, with Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions and Kat @ Life and Other Disasters, with Reg @ She Latitude and Estefani @ Fiction Jungle, with Regina @ The Bibliotheque and I’m part of various Goodreads book clubs.
I’ve never really had real life friends who love reading as much as I do. It was always a point of jokes with my group of friends that I read like books were food and I was starving. They read sure, but they don’t have the same passion that I do. So it was really hard to find someone who I could talk to about all the great things that come with books. Someone to tell about my feels, my ships, and my theories on different series or standalone books. So finding the book community online was a blessing beyond my wildest dreams.
And it got even better the first time I read a book with Gervan and Abby, who were the first buddy read I ever participated in. Back when I made booktube videos, I talked about how much I wanted to read The Archived by Victoria Schwab. They both wanted to read it as well so we downloaded Voxer and made a plan to read it! And it was so much fun! It was great that we all loved it and so we made plans to read the second book, The Unbound. Even though we were physically far apart, we could still share all of our thoughts and feelings on a book we were all looking forward to and enjoying. I loved being able to talk to them and I’m so happy that we decided to make it a monthly tradition!
Since then, like I said above, I’ve been part of a few more buddy reads so I thought it’d be cool to share some of the tips and tricks that have made my experiences so fun.
- Find a common platform to chat on.
This one might be a little strange but if you’re really far away from your buddy read partners, it’s very important to have a platform where you can chat on. Abby, Gervan and I started with Voxer and then moved on to Facebook Messaging which we use a lot more. I’ve also used Twitter messages before and on Goodreads, you have the discussion features. Just make sure its accessible and easy to use.
2. Pick a book everyone agrees with.
Honestly, one and two can be interchangeable depending on how you approach the person or people you want to read with. And this might seem like an obvious one but it really isn’t. Sometimes the Mom Book Club challenges itself and we read book that is out of our comfort zones. We take turns on who suggests the book for the month but we all have to agree on that one book. Sometimes we pick one book and everyone is happy with it straight away (This Savage Song, The Archived, etc.) or we’ll go through different choices before we settle on a definite. This is why its hard for me to go along with some of the Goodreads book clubs, a lot of people vote for the book of the month and a lot of the time, I’m just not interested in reading that book,
3. Try to find a schedule that works for everyone.
Now I feel a little bad confessing this, but usually in buddy reads, I tend to suggest my method of reading and discussing. Since I read a lot of books at a time, I tend to read by quarters (25%). It’s kind of a mouthful to explain right now but that’s usually the kind of reading that I like to do for buddy reads too. It helps me keep up with my other books and I find it easier to stop and discuss throughout. This way we all find a stopping point close to that percentage, we let each other know, and when everyone reaches that point, we discuss our thoughts so far. I like that better because it feels more interactive and kind of like mini meetings. There are more ways to do it, like by chapters or just when you have something to say you share, both are ways other blogger friends have shared with me. But the important thing is to make sure you find the way that makes all participants comfortable.
4. Be respectful of each other’s thoughts.
Again, this seems pretty obvious but it’s a lot more important than you think. While everyone may agree on the book, everyone experiences books differently. So when discussing, it’s necessary to realize that while you may love what you’re reading, the other person or people might not or visa versa. It’s happened a few times with me. When buddy reading the Scorpio Races, Estefani loved it, I enjoyed it and Reg didn’t like it at all. And something similar happened with Fangirl with Gervan and Abby, he even DNFed it. People sometimes get into arguments about differing opinions in books and while it’s okay to disagree, buddy reads and book clubs aren’t really the place to have arguments, in my opinion.
5. HAVE FUN!
Obvious but this is the most important part! Have fun reading, have fun discussing, have fun sharing with bookworm friends from all over the world! This is why buddy reads and book clubs are so amazing and why I definitely recommend them!
So that’s it for this post! I know I always write really simple, mostly because I can’t think of deep discussion posts that my fellow brothers, but I absolutely love buddy reads and I hope to help someone branch out and try them if they’re interested! I’d love to hear your experiences as well! Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!