two friends reading together witrh the text buddy reading better for introverts.

Why Buddy Reading is best for introverts

OK, here is my hot take on book clubs: they are not for me. I think many readers will agree that, as introverts, we feel most comfortable in a small group setting—usually involving couches, pajamas, cozy blankets, and possibly snacks. I don’t think I’m alone here when I say that if you’ve tried a book club and found it too challenging for your social anxiety, you might enjoy my take on why buddy reading is the new way to engage in book discussion.

Discovering Buddy Reading

I first heard the term “buddy read” on a podcast, and I didn’t even need to look it up to understand what it meant. Obviously, buddy reading is when you decide to read a book with a friend and communicate with that friend in any way you’re comfortable. I immediately contacted my friend Zaps from Arizona, and suggested we read a book together. We set up a date and met at Barnes & Noble, video chatting while we ran around the store looking for books for our first buddy read. This alone was super fun, and I can’t wait until we finish our current book so that we can go back to the store and shop together again.

Choosing the Right Book

Aside from getting some great reading recommendations from her, we got to choose a book that suited us both. We ended up choosing “The Three-Body Problem” by Liu Cixin. This book came out in the early 2000s, and the trilogy has since been completed. It’s still a very timely book, especially with Netflix releasing season one of the titular show, which explores a future where technology is a double-edged sword.

Weekly Check-Ins

Each week, Sara and I do a short video chat as we discuss our reading for the week. So far, we’ve broken the book down into 100-page chunks because that seems to work for both of us as a weekly reading goal. I give her a ringy-ding-ding, we do a little chit-chat, and then we jump into the book. Reading a book this way is much less intimidating than reading it on your own and preparing questions and talking points for a book club. I don’t know about you, but I often feel like I’m going to say something silly when I’m in a large group. Thankfully, I don’t feel this way at all when it’s just me and my best friend reading the book together. We can help each other out as we go, remind each other of characters and major plot points, and it makes it more interesting to share perspectives along the way.

The Flexibility of Buddy Reading

With so much technology, people are feeling very disconnected from each other. Yet some of us do not feel comfortable being the new kid in a book club. Very often, book clubs meet in people’s homes and can sometimes be exclusionary. If you cringe at the thought of delivering your book insights in front of an audience, you will really enjoy buddy reading.

Like I said earlier, I’m excited for the next book that we pick. But if life gets hectic, as it tends to do, there’s no rule that says we need to continue into our next book or stick to a certain schedule. We can cater our buddy read exactly to our needs and wants.

Ready to Start Your Buddy Read?

So text your best bud, go to the bookstore or library, and choose that book you’ve been meaning to read but were not feeling ready to tackle on your own. A buddy read just may be for you.

If you need help choosing a book, here are three books that I think would be great picks for a buddy read. Drop a comment below and let me know what you think about my picks or share your own ideas for books to share with a friend. Catch you later!

Under the eye of the big bird by Hiromi Kawakami

-This speculative fiction novel told through 14 intertwining parts will bring up plenty of fodder for discussion about the future of humanity. 

By any other name by Jodi Picoult

-There’s always some depth and heart to Picoult’s fiction and this biographical novel about a real-life woman poet Emilia Lanier Bassano from the 16th century.

The ministry of time by Kaliane Bradley

–This book is buzzing and I don’t think you want to be left out of the conversation!

Get out there and find a buddy to read your next book with! It’s a great way to connect with a friend over something you both love. It will enrich your experience of reading the book, and you can do it all from the comfort of your couch. What are you waiting for?


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