Let’s Talk About: Buddy Reads. Do They Influence Your Opinion on a Book?

discussion_buddyreads

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?

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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: buddyreads_2

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.

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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.

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28 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About: Buddy Reads. Do They Influence Your Opinion on a Book?

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      i usually buddy read with the same people, and a lot of people do it differently. Some do it by quarters, or every ten chapters or something like that. Me and Cátia do it casually, we just check where each other is, and discuss it through chats

  1. amortalreader1 says:

    I haven’t done a buddy read before but I study English Literature at university so it’s sort of a buddy read? haha, I have read a book and felt like I have completed hated it but after discussing it I begin to see it in a whole new light.

    Like you mention, when I have heard someone rave about a book I do go into it with high expectations. More often than not I find myself thinking yes! This person was so right but on the odd occasion I haven’t felt the same and I have been left disappointed.

    Great Discussion Post!

  2. Casey says:

    I find that buddy reading, or even watching a review will tend to alter my thoughts on a book. I always want to be true to my own thoughts, but I don’t think buddy reading specifically prevents that. It’s more of the fact that you’re having a debate and bringing up good points which can influence your thoughts. I don’t see this as a bad thing, but as having an open mind and a willingness to listen to other people’s thoughts! Though I am VERY stubborn, so sometimes my discussions go awry XD. IT’S FUN TO ARGUE THOUGH! Great question!

  3. anovelglimpse says:

    I do buddy reads with a group on Goodreads. We generally like the same books, but we always point out different things about them, good or bad. I think that helps all of us come to overall opinion at the end of the book. Most of the time we agree, but there are some times we don’t. I’m sure the opinions sway us all a bit, but I try not to let it affect me.

  4. Sara @ freadomlibrary says:

    Totally agree with you and aren’t you sweet for using me as an example! Haha I definitely feel like you guys changed my opinion a bit as I was reading, especially Kat’s comments about Taco’s personality since they opened my eyes to his charms haha. I notice it happens a lot with my monthly buddy reads, sometimes we’re all in sync and other times completely in different pages. I was the one behind when reading A Thousand Pieces of You and my friends’ opinion made me notice things that I wasn’t paying attention to. I think it’s really fun and awesome to do and opens up a whole new reading experience

  5. Kendra says:

    I haven’t done a buddy read yet, but I would say I have to agree with your post. I do think that we go into a book excited if someone has hyped it up. However, I also think that personally, I would tend to be more outspoken in a buddy read. Whereas if I was reading it by myself, I might not catch certain things. Or if I have questions, I would keep it to myself. I think having a buddy around reading the same book would be fairly good. They would almost act as a sound board (whom would hopefully share my opinion — if not, that’s ok too). I look forward to taking part it one someday. 😀

  6. Kat Impossible says:

    I have to agree with what you said. I don’t think that my buddy reader can make me hate a book that I initially truly liked, but it can dampen the love/excitement in some way – the same goes of course the other way round and I can like something a bit more. I guess we all do have our specific reading quirks and preferences, so we still have our different opinions, but they can be slightly influenced to a degree.

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