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Why Buddy Reading Is My Best Reading

Buddy Reading
Like many of you, I’ve been a reader all my life. As a child, I stole books to read under the covers with a flashlight. I scared myself witless reading Dean Koontz books well before I should have, convinced I would be murdered in my sleep. I trudged through assigned books during high school and college but devoured the latest buzzy bestsellers all summer long. When my bookish bestie and I started our podcast, Currently Reading Podcast, in August of 2018, I had no idea what kind of world would be opened to Meredith and me. I had tried book clubs before, where we all read a book together and then got together to discuss, but I, an extrovert, wanted real-time reading reactions. I wanted to share those wow, OMG, LOL moments with the other readers in my life. And the book clubs weren’t cutting it. (Truth be told, I’m also a bit book bossy, and I love choosing my own buddy read picks).Currently Reading PodcastThe listeners of Currently Reading are a loyal group, and our Patreon supporters, or Bookish Friends, are the most loyal of them all. At any given moment, someone is posting in our private group that they want to try to read such-and-such book from their TBR list this year finally. Is anyone interested in a buddy read? And the answer is always yes. That led to me wishing aloud on the podcast for an app that would allow all of us to gather virtually and share real-time reactions to our buddy reads without accidentally spoiling for the “caboose” reader, which is what we affectionately term the person who is trying to stay caught up.

How to buddy read with Fable

Enter Fable. Within just a few months of finding this fantastic wish-come-true app, I lead at least six buddy reads in both private and public groups. We are reading for thrills. We are diving into series, reading for growth, tackling movie adaptations of our favorite books, and more. Over and over again, I find (in my handy reading spreadsheet) that the books I buddy read end up with higher ratings on average than the books I read alone. Why is that? Because of the richness of reading with others. I love getting the perspective of a reader who saw that scene differently. I love having a reader that’s smarter than me make a connection that I didn’t see. I love getting recommendations for books that dive deeper into that tiny niche topic I was interested in when I saw it mentioned.Our Bookish Friends are such buddy reading aficionados that we’ve created a flow chart to find your “perfect” buddy read format. Buddy Read FlowchartMaybe you’re a Live Tweeter. One of you has already read the book, and the other sends real-time one on one reaction gifs to the other as they read. Maybe you’re a Slow But Steady-er. These readers chip away piece by piece at the text and check in occasionally to see how the other is doing. Maybe you’re a Wild West-er. This fast and furious format lets you race ahead of each other, as long as you don’t spoil for the “caboose” reader I mentioned earlier. Or maybe you’ve got a big group and you want more Structure. Those buddy readers make a schedule, and even if you don’t stick to it, you’re not supposed to comment ahead of where the group is that day. Good news: you don’t have to pick one with Fable. You can have the person who already read mixed with the slow but steady reader mixed with a wild rest reader while everyone else follows a structure. The best of all worlds (and the ratings bump to prove it) await in a buddy read that everyone can join!

Keep reading on Fable!

Buddy reading helps build and strengthen bonds with other people. Sharing an experience while reading brings people closer together.Researchers have found several other benefits of social reading, and you can discover them all in Fable’s “The Benefits of Buddy Reading” essay.

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