5 Tips to Get the Best Out of Buddy Reads and Group Reads

You know that feeling when you read a good book and your heart is absolutely bursting and all you want to do is shout and cry about it with someone? Or maybe you’re reading a trashy book and want to roast the hell out of it with another reader. Yeah, reading can be a pretty lonely activity, which is why I love reading with other people!

It feels amazing to have someone reading a book along with you and discussing everything you’re excited or disappointed about with them When I first learnt about the concept I went a bit haywire and enthusiastically took part in a number of group reads and book clubs. Not the best idea I had.

In my excitement I didn’t realise that buddy reads and group reads have their own cons. No sir, it wasn’t until I was caught up in some fails and uncomfortable situations did I learn my lesson. I don’t know if it was mere bad luck or the fact that I was still new to the concept, but over time I’ve gotten better at choosing when to take part and when to step back from buddy reads and group reads. I can’t always guarantee an exciting time and a great group read but I like to think that I’ve got the hang of it to get the most out of these experiences.

I know a lot of people feel group or buddy reads are not for them or they’ve been disappointed too many times so I decided to give my expert advice. When I mean expert advice I mean I’ve stopped struggling with my buddy reads so I deem my status as intermediate enough to give people tips πŸ™‚

NOTE: If you’ve buddy read with me before, especially in the past year I’m in no way calling you out, haha. These are just lessons I’ve learnt from my initial group reads!

5 Tips to Get the Best Out of Buddy Reads and Group Reads

1. Set your expectations and pacing!

Nobody in this universe is an AI who can read your mind. You can’t tell what other people have in mind for their reading experiences and neither can they. The most important thing when planning for a group read is to lay out your expectations clearly.

When do you plan to start reading the book? At what pace do you plan on reading and is everyone at the same pace? Do you want to set the number of chapters you’ll be reading in a day? Do you foresee any events or plans in the duration of the buddy read that might impede your progress?

Questions like these can give everyone involved a clear idea and bring all readers on the same page. Honestly, by now these are my absolute basics and maybe it’s because I’m an organisation hoe but knowing all this stuff sets up for a good buddy read, in my opinion.

2. Read a book or two on the side

I am basically an overexcited bunny when it comes to reading. I can be so restless and eager to know what’s going happen next that I often end up finishing the entire book way before my friends do. It takes out half the fun when you and your friends aren’t at a similar pace and I honestly don’t want to be the one to ruin a buddy read so I pick up another book or two on the side. I try picking up books that I know I’m excited to read so I can switch to them in case I’m running ahead on the book I’m buddy reading.

3. Choose your buddies with care

What I want to say is don’t just join random group reads. I mean yes, you can go ahead and take a chance if you want but I personally feel more comfortable in groups of people I know and am friends with. Most of my buddy reads are with friends so I don’t shy away from sending excited voice notes to them. This one time I absolutely fell in love with a book that a group was reading but I didn’t know anyone well enough to deeply discuss the book with. And well, that defeats the entire purpose of reading with other people.

4. Be constant with progress updates

Update others in your buddy read with your reading progress. Not only does this initiate conversation but everyone gets a bit of nudge and you can see whether you’re ahead or behind others. I also like keeping up continuous discussions. I don’t stick to just a single discussion at the end of the read, I usually talk about my reactions while I read the book, keeping them spoiler free if my friends are behind me. It’s just so much fun and incites lots of gifs and jokes and rambling thoughts that make my day πŸ™‚

5. Choose a book you’re really excited for

I think this mostly goes without saying but sometimes we’re too excited at the prospect of reading a book with others that we end up reading a book weren’t that interested in. This also applies to joining book clubs and losing interest in them over time. Or if you’re a mood reader like me you might just not be in the mood for the book at that particular time. Oh what fun it is to be a mood reader!

Do you enjoy buddy reads and group reads?

What are your tips and tricks to have an exciting buddy read?

Tell me about a book you had a fun time buddy reading or one you want to buddy read in the future.

23 thoughts on “5 Tips to Get the Best Out of Buddy Reads and Group Reads

  1. I’ve never taken part in a buddy read, but its been something I’ve been thinking about for a while, so these were useful tips!
    I hadn’t even considered the whole pacing thing, but it definitely seems like it would be more fun if everyone was roughly at the same place so you can all speculate on what’s going to happen next, and discuss plot twists as they happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great, so glad they’ll be of use to you πŸ˜„
      Yup! It makes things more exciting. Plus a lot of group reads pre decide a chapter by chaptee pace.


  2. I love buddy reading, and I completely agree with all your tips – deciding a pace to rad at and choosing a book you’re all excited for is very important! I’ve been buddy reading The Green Bone Saga with a friend on bookstagram and it’s been really great – we send regular status updates every day, even if sometimes all we say is that we couldn’t read and then excitedly talk about our favourite characters and who we want dead asap.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love buddy and group reads! I especially enjoyed buddy reading Lux series and Bloodlines. I admit I have a problem with number two. I really should read multiple books while buddy reading so I wouldn’t finish books way before my friends do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh this is such good advice! I’m fairly new to buddy reading, and haven’t really participated in a really structured one yet but I’d love to in the future; honestly I’m down to buddy read anything but especially something with a lot of plot twists πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have only done one buddy read with another blogger who invited me to do one, but I think they are a fun idea! I am too nervous to reach out to anyone and ask, though, haha. I do do a lot of buddy reads with my family members. We just have one discussion together after we’ve both finished the book. Maybe I should try the continuous discussion sometime – that might be neat to track our reactions as we read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve always struggled with buddy reading although I think it was largely due to me experiencing so many reading slumps 😭 my most recent buddy read though was with Ruby, we read The Bride Test and it was so nice to actually not feel like I was letting the other person down. I’d love to buddy read The Gilded Wolves πŸ‘€ I think we said we’d buddy read it some point hehe so if you still want to just dm me whenever you’re ready to start πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes slumps can make buddy reading very hard 😦 But I’m so glad you were able to get a good buddy read with The Bride Test! Omg yes we did 😍 Ahhh I’ll let you know but maybe Feb end or March would work πŸ‘€

      Liked by 1 person

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