Friday, July 18, 2014

'Buddy Reads' and Other Thoughts on Group Reads and Readalongs

I really should come up with a banner for this series as the posting has become more frequent. Welcome back to another discussion post. Today, we're talking about readalongs- the fun, the good, and the scheduling. 

First off, let me just say I love readalongs/buddy reads. It's a wonderful opprotunity to talk with other bloggers, and since sharing my love of books is what brought me to the blogging world, a readalong is the perfect opprotunity for that. 

My first readalong...
My readalong-ing, for lack of a better term, began in January when I stumbled across the Incarnate Series Read-A-Thon while on a visit to A Backwards Story. I was intrigued, loved the covers of the books, and thought it might be fun. So, I signed up for this readalong she was hosting with Alexa Loves Books. So, way back when in January, I signed up, and not only did I get the chance to discover a wonderful series, I got to discuss them with other bloggers, chat about them on Twitter and tune into the hangouts (I squealed out loud when they read my questions) and even tweet with Jodi Meadows and interview her! None of this would have happened if this readalong hadn't come to pass and led to my discovering a really wonderful series. 

So, there is my readalong origins story, I guess you can say. However, Buddy Reads is something I'd done starting in January as well. Kerrie is a fellow blogger I started reading and discussing books with back in January. We read Angelfall, World After, and Across the Universe over the course of a few months. Having a set goal and someone to discuss my thoughts with really helped me appreciate the books more, and soon I was asking fellow bloggers to read books together and discuss!

Since then, I've done several readalongs, a few within the past months were reading Sekret with Cassi of My Thoughts...Literally! and Hex Hall with Juhina of Maji Bookshelf and Jaspirit of The Reader's Den. I've loved doing these readalongs, but I do think there are some cons to them sometimes as well.

Scheduling. I am terrible at this. Oftentimes I end up reading multiple books if I'm doing several readalongs, and I can mess up when I need to be in what chapter and anything like that. So, if I've ever blundered and fallen behind in a readalong, then I feel super bad because the other person is staying on track and I'm slowing them down, or we can't discuss the book because I'm not in time.

Reading Ahead. Yes, I've done it once. Or twice. But not often, I promise, and sometimes it's just, again, due to my inability to schedule things properly or then maintain them! However, sometimes if there's a cliffhanger, I'll read a chapter ahead. It happens very rarely, but I do feel bad about it!

Differing Opinions. This one hasn't really happened to me yet. Most of the times, the other person/people and I will be in agreement. So, I'll share this one with you- have you done a readalong and one person hated the book and another loved it? How did that affect your discussion?

In general, readalongs, buddy reads, and group reads are fantastic. Not only do you get to compare ideas and reactions with a bunch of other bloggers (and it's always fun to be reading the same thing and talking about that book boyfriend or that crazy plot twist) but you also get to reach out to a lot of other bloggers and discuss. With that in mind, some issues can arise but as long as everyone just tries to enjoy the reading and have a thoughtful conversation, reading with other people is one of my favorite ways to discover new books.

So, let me know what your buddy reads are like down in the comments! Or, if you've got a book you want a buddy to read with, let me know! 

From the paper world,

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