Hey guys! I haven’t done one of these in awhile, right? Well, as you might know from reading some reviews on my blog and whatnot, I’ve been doing a lot of buddy reads lately, mostly with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, but also with Kat @Life and Other Disasters and Sara@Freadom Library. This made me wonder, how influenced are we by someone else’s reading experience?
I think it’s true for most people – at least it is for me – that when we see someone whose judgment we trust enjoying and raving about a book, we go to that book with a certain degree of excitement and expectation. This is both good and bad, because you enter it with an open mind, but expecting it to be awesome, and sometimes it’s hard to live up to that.
But what happens when you and your buddy are enjoying a book at the same time? You don’t have those expectations, but you do have the excitement, because buddy reading on itself it’s awesome! Right? So, how does this excitement translates to your enjoyment of the book?
I have to admit that I usually buddy read books that I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy, but it has happened a few times now that we’ve read a bad book. One thing I’ve noticed after a few buddy reads is this:
Sure, this can be due to the fact that Cátia and I think pretty much alike, and are bound to enjoy some of the same stuff. We love the same books, request the same books, so our rating usually doesn’t stray from 0.5 stars of each other.
So, let me talk about another example, for instance, when Kat @Life and Other Disasters, Sara @Freadom Library and I buddy read Anything You Want. Me and Kat immediately fell in love with the book and the main character, but not Sara, she took a little while longer to get there. Did the fact that we were discussing the book and giving her our takes on the character and actions influenced her in any way to be a little more open to it? I honestly think so.
Discussing some part of the book that you didn’t understand right away, or simply didn’t like, with someone else with a slightly different take on the subject, allows you to open your mind a little more, and sometimes enjoy the book a bit more in the process as well.
The same happens when you don’t like something within the book you’re buddy reading. I’m aware that sometimes I hate some cheesy lines, or plots more – that in non-buddy reading books might go unnoticed – because we end up nitpicking some of those things apart. So buddy reading can also lower my opinion of a book.
I don’t think they do exactly. I do think that sometimes a buddy read sharpens your take on a book. It doesn’t change whether you liked a certain book or not, but it influences HOW MUCH you enjoyed it or not. For me, it sometimes makes the difference between a 4 or a 4.5 stars. Or a 3 and a 2.5 or lower.
For me, discussing a book in real time makes me see that book differently, makes me notice more details, jokes, and even mistakes, that I would maybe have missed it if I was reading it by myself. It’s 100% an enjoyable experience for me, that for sure influences my opinion on certain books.