It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. -Oscar Wilde
How many books have you been meaning to read and just haven’t had the time? It’s probably because you’re like most of us, battling books of mass distraction; wait, did you get that book by ‘author’s name goes here,’ I have to have it now because ‘insert various reasons here,’ I will read it right after I finish ‘insert number of books here’. You get the point right?
Shortly after starting my bookstagram (on Instagram) account I discovered buddy reads and readalongs. A buddy read is like an informal book club, a few buddies decide to read the same book, make plans to discuss the book at some defined interval (during the reading or at the end, really whatever you decide). A readalong is similar except it’s usually a large number of participants with a reading schedule and discussions usually hosted publicly on a bookstagrammer(s) profile for all participants to comment and engage other readers in the discussion. Confused, don’t be. My idea of both is like a virtual book club (group) of people from various places reading and discussing books together.
Since my IRL (in real life) book club fizzled last year after 10 years, I needed another outlet to read and discuss books and expose me to books I might otherwise not have found or read on my own. Participating in buddy reads (and readalongs) allows me to do so on a regular basis and has been very rewarding. Even if I don’t care for a book, I usually get much more out of my reading experience when exposed to other perspectives. There was one book I read last year and both my buddy and I had an ‘unpopular’ opinion. We didn’t like the characters so we decided to change the narrative a few times during our discussion. At that moment I decided bad books can be good if you read and discuss with the right person. Probably one of the liveliest and most memorable book discussions I’ve had in a long time and a reprieve from a TOME we were reading during a readalong (the book in the picture).
I can finally mark many of my own books off my TBR and sometimes make space for new books, which is always a good thing. Quite a few have been classics, including one BIG book I never would have read on my own left to my own devices (clears throat, can you say War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy). Tackling a huge literary giant like War and Peace is no easy feat, but with some book buddies over an eight week schedule we finished and shared a reading experience I will not forget!
Perks of buddy reads and readalongs
- Reading the books you already have #shopyourshelf
- Support and encouragement to keep reading if you think about giving up (accountability)
- Book friends and connections with other book lovers from all around the world
- Discovering books you may not have heard of on your own
I’m going to be teaming up with a buddy on Instagram to host a readalong of No Name by Wilkie Collins. More information here if you want to join.
Which books from your shelves have you FINALLY managed to read? How do you manage your never ending TBR and prioritize your reading?