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Buddy Reading: A Beginner’s Complete Guide
Buddy reading is a phrase you have probably heard before, especially if you are already on bookstagram.
But before we get into buddy reading, for those of you who didn’t know already, bookstagram is Instagram for the bookish community.
It is a platform for avid readers to publicly share their love of books online. These bookstagrammers or book bloggers usually buddy read with other bookstagrammers on the platform.
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Buddy Reading Meaning
Buddy reading is a reading activity where you read the same book with a friend at the same time.
This allows you and your buddy to exchange thoughts on the book, enriching the reading experience for both of you.
What is buddy read on Instagram?
Buddy reading is commonly done on Instagram. Which means you pick a bookstagrammer, a book, discuss it via Instagram DM and then post about it.
However, if you do not have a bookstagram, you can always pick a buddy to read with in real life or your buddy could be anyone from any other social platforms that you are comfortable with.
Buddy Reading VS Book Club
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Buddy reading and book clubs are not the same.
A book club is an organization that meets up regularly to discuss a book that they are reading.
You will have to give more commitment to a book club as you will have to attend weekly sessions, and there could be a different book to read every month.
Sometimes, it could be more than one book to read in a month.
A bookclub can also consist of 10, 15, even 20 members! That’s a huge group to read with.
Whereas a buddy read ends when the book ends. There isn’t a new month of reading commitment.
There isn’t much commitment other than to the one book and a friend. You can have more than one buddy but usually people will keep it to 3-4 reading buddies as it is easier to keep up with everyone’s reading pace.
How To Buddy Read?
If you’re thinking of buddy reading on bookstagram. There are a few buddy reading rules you should know.
By rules, I mean conventional ways or guidelines of carrying out a buddy read.
Step 1: Find A Buddy
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To find a friend or buddy on bookstagram, search for popular hashtags such as #buddyreading and #buddyreads.
If you wish to read with someone in your timezone, you can search for local hashtags (eg: #bookstagrammalaysia, #bookstagramindia) and then hit them up in the DMs.
You don’t need to only have one buddy to read with. You can have multiple reading buddies.
But keep the number small or it may turn into a book club kind of situation and that requires more time and energy.
Step 2: Find A Book
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Once you’ve found a buddy to read with, you and your buddy (or buddies) can then decide on a book.
You should take into consideration if they are interested in the book or genre that you are suggesting to buddy read with them.
Besides genre, the availability of the book is also important. If you are buddy reading with someone from a different country, make sure they have access to the physical book, e-book or audiobook.
Requesting books from publishers or distributors could be a good option too. For one of my buddy reads, Times Reads sent me and my buddy (@nat.is.reading) both volumes of Prisna, the books we were interested in.
Step 3: Schedule Reading
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Now that you have a friend and a book for your buddy reading activity, you will have to make time to schedule reading.
You and your buddy must read at the same pace to discuss characters, plot and more. This is also important to avoid talking about spoilers.
This can be difficult if you are impatient and end up reading ahead of your buddy. Sometimes, life may get in the way and you or your buddy might not be able to read as planned.
How do you plan a buddy read?
Set a fixed amount of pages or chapters with a deadline.
Only then you can set a time and place/platform to discuss what you have read. For example, chapter 1-5 for week 1 of June.
So by the first weekend of June, you will contact your buddy to discuss the book you’re reading.
Step 4: Take Notes
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There aren’t any rules when it comes to taking notes.
Some people enjoy annotating their books, while some people prefer sticking sticky notes and tabbing important information in their books.
Other’s write their thoughts in a physical or digital notebook.
You might want to note down the below for your discussion:
- Plot and setting
- Significant characters.
- Emotions felt while reading.
- Interesting quotes.
- Confusing bits from the book (so you can clear it up later)
Step 5: Discuss The Book
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This is the fun part, finally, you get to talk about the book you’re reading!
You get to discuss the things you love about it, such as characters, quotes, plot and the things you may not like about it.
Discussions are great for book hangovers. Sometimes after you are done reading a really good book, the feeling of finishing it can linger and interfere with your daily routine.
I remember being really sad after reading The Question of Red (Novel Amba), an Indonesian translated piece of literature by Laksmi Pamuntjak.
I was sad for about two weeks and had no one to talk to about it. Buddy reading would also be a great way to read heavier books so that the emotions do not completely consume you.
You can discuss it over Instagram DM, if you’re feeling a bit more brave and chatty, you can even video call them.
Step 6: Post About It!
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This step is not necessary, but it would be good to post about the book you’ve read with your buddy on your bookstagram.
Don’t forget to tag them and add relevant hashtags.
If you don’t have a bookstagram, you can always review the book and mention your buddy in a blog post or Youtube channel.
Want to go the extra mile?
If the book has been adapted into the movie, you and your buddy could watch it together! Comparing the book to the movie could be an interesting experience.
Buddy Reading Benefits
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Here are some pros of buddy reading:
- Memorable reading experience.
- Make new friends within the book community.
- Explore books or genres you may like or would never read again.
- Clear out confusion while reading.
- Get over book hangovers
- Fangirl/boy over books so you don’t have to keep it all in!
Disadvantages Of Buddy Reading
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Here are some cons of buddy reading:
- Time consuming
- Unable to read at your pace
- Feeling pressured and not enjoying the book.
- Multiple discussions may be draining.
- Not being able to accept opinions that differ.
FAQs about Buddy Reading
Final Thoughts: Buddy Reading for Bookstagrammers, Book Bloggers and More
I did enjoy it. It made the reading experience more memorable. It made me like the book even more than I would like it when reading alone.
This is probably because i’m able to express feelings related to these books to the people that I like reading with.
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