Last Sunday I asked if anyone wanted to be my reading buddy. Turns out lots of people do, which makes me extraordinarily happy! I got offers to co-read a huge variety of books, and I hope to take as many people up on those offers as possible. Some books had one or two interested readers, while others had four or even five. As a result, the project, which I have officially dubbed Reading Buddies, will have two sorts of opportunities for interested readers to join me.
My goal here is to read books with other people. I love discussing books, and I love connecting with other people about books. And we might as well knock a few books off our TBR lists in the process, right?
Opportunity #1: Play It By Ear
One way to participate in Reading Buddies is to read a book together whenever we both have time. Maybe it’s a book we’ve had on our TBRs forever and need an extra push to read; maybe it’s a scary tome we’d like to read with someone else; maybe one of us is reading a book that looks really intriguing to the other one. You email me, or I’ll email you, and we’ll set something really informal up. Or, you can always see my TBR lists (reading goals and classics project) and suggest titles through a Google Form I set up just for that purpose.
If you’re only interested in this option, feel free to skip down to What Now? as the rest of this post deals primarily with the second option, which is…
Opportunity #2: Follow a Preset Schedule
Based on the most frequently requested titles, I’ve put together a loose schedule for my own reading through July. I’ve chosen two of those books per month, with the hopes that anyone interested will join me in reading them. These are NOT formal readalongs! There will be no scheduled check-ins, no official discussion questions, and no button for each book. (If you want a button, feel free to use the one at the top of this post!) There will also be no guilt associated with not joining for a book or starting it and not finishing! Pick and choose which books interest you and fit into your schedule, and read along if you’d like.
You’ll notice I’m trying very hard to stress that there’s not much official about these monthly reads of mine. I don’t want anyone to shy away from participating because they don’t want to take on a big commitment or add a lot of structure to their reading. There’s no commitment! Really! Beyond sort of coordinating the time at which we read the book, there’s only as much structure as you yourself want to impose. If you’re still not convinced, read on, and I’ll keep trying to win you over.
In an effort not to exclude anyone from Reading Buddies reads, you don’t have to have a blog to participate. I am very happy to discuss via email if you prefer! If you do have a blog, you can post about any Reading Buddies book as often or as seldom as you’d like. You don’t have to write a starting post or weekly check-ins, unless you want to. You don’t even have to visit other participants, though the discussion will be more interesting if you do. You can read books or ebooks or listen to audiobooks. You can read in any language you desire.
As for creating a way for everyone reading a particular book to stay connected, I’ll take responsibility for that. Read on to hear about my ideas.
In an effort to keep everyone connected, I’ll be imposing a posting schedule on myself so that you guys don’t have to worry about it. Each Friday (or the last four Fridays of a month, if there are five), I’ll put up a Reading Buddies post. I’ll alternate books, like so:
- Week 1: Book 1 midway post
- Week 2: Book 2 midway post
- Week 3: Book 1 wrap-up post
- Week 4: Book 2 wrap-up post
I’ll explain the two types of posts under Linking Up, below. I also think it’ll become clear as we actually start this project what I have in mind, if I’m not doing a very good job of explaining it now.
I’ll also be adding the button above to my sidebar and linking it to a page devoted to Reading Buddies. That page will list the schedule and contain links to any posts I’ve done related to the project. I’m hoping having everything in one place will help keep Reading Buddies fun, organized, and low stress.
I’m happy to assume the main responsibility of keeping everyone connected. As described above, I’ll do a weekly post as a reference point for everyone else. The two types of posts, in greater detail:
- Midway post: I’ll share my thoughts on the book so far, even if I’m not very far in. I’ll also welcome links from participants to their own posts on the books in the comments, so that (a) other participants can find them, and (b) I can link up to them in the wrap-up post. Participants can stop by any time and check in with the discussion or leave a link to a post they’ve written.
- Wrap-up post: This post will include a Mr Linky where participants can link to their final reviews of the book. I’ll also include links (in my post, not in the Mr Linky) to any participant posts I’ve read or been notified of. Spoilers will be welcome in the comments of this final post, the assumption being that by this point, everyone will be finished (or nearly finished) with the book. I’m not sure yet if this post will include my final review or if that will be a separate post.
These are a starting point; we’ll tweak as necessary!
There’s been some concern regarding spoilers. It’s no fun to read a post full of spoilers about the whole book when you’ve only read the first half. Since participants will, presumably, be reading and posting at different speeds, I think this issue needs to be addressed if we are to ensure everyone’s comfortable reading and discussing together.
My feeling is that spoilers are fine. It’s tough to have an in-depth discussion of a book without them. However–and I think we all do this anyway–please do warn people first if your post includes spoilers!
The current schedule goes from February to August. Here’s what we have lined up so far (titles link to GoodReads):
If you’re interested in any of the books above and/or would like to be kept apprised of what’s going on with regards to them, leave me a comment and let me know so I can add you to my list. (Being on the list is in no way a commitment to read along!)
If you missed the sign-ups the first time around and would like to pick some books to read together that aren’t listed above, just fill out the form.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
I’m really excited about this project and hope lots of other people are, too. I look forward to reading with you!