3 Benefits of Co-Reading With a Friend

I mention my bookish bestie Lea a lot in my posts. She’s one of the few humans I communicate with on a daily basis and over the years has become one of my closest confidantes and biggest cheerleaders.

reasons to buddy read reading with a friend two person book club
Me and Lea last month at a women’s conference


But when we first met, we didn’t bond immediately. In fact we ran in the same friend group for a few years before connecting on Facebook. At first, our friendship consisted entirely of exchanges about books. We’d ask what the other was reading or ask for recommendation.

After about a year, we began to notice something: our friendship had become closer and more trusted to both of us, than many of the other friendships we’d harbored for much longer.

Because we’re both huge book nerds and always interested in personal development, we began to talk about how and why this had happened. What we realized is that talking about books brought up topics in our exchanges that we likely wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.

Lea and I have become a two person book club. We co-read three or more books each month by listening to the same audio books at the same time. This practice has changed both of our reading experiences and strengthened our friendship.


while I was reading book blog mars room


Here, we’ve isolated what we get out of these co-reading experiences. We recommend you find a reading buddy and see how that friendship grows!


3 Benefits of Co-Reading With a Friend


1. Accountability

This is especially useful if you struggle to make reading a priority. Knowing your budding is plugging along in the same book so you can discuss it will keep you going when you might not otherwise continue reading.

2. Opportunity for deep connection because you’re experiencing the same thing at the same time

When Lea and I read the same book at the same time, stuff comes up for each of us in relation to what’s going on in our lives at the time, and our pasts. She’s a mom and I’m not. Her mother passed away less than two years ago. Mine is still living and we have a strained relationship. These differences lead us to experience some books from totally different places. And when we disagree on a book, it opens up further discussion and room for connection.

Sometimes one of us quits a book and the other doesn’t get hurt feelings. I might be bummed that Lea doesn’t respond to a book as positively as I hoped, but that’s it. There’s plenty more to read, so we move on!

Me and Lea experiencing the total solar eclipse in Casper, WY 2017


3. Minimal investment

Buddy reading is a book club without the obligations. You don’t need “official meetings” or pre-planned discussion questions. Just talk about what comes up as you read.

Usually, our choice to co-read is as simple as one of us saying “I’m starting  _______,” and the other decides to do the same. Sometimes one starts a book and tells the other “I think you’d like this too.” We’re not always reading the exact same thing simultaneously, but it’s close enough  that we can stay engaged about the content.


Lea got our books signed by Jen Sincero April 2018


Do you ever buddy read with a friend? Or maybe you’re in a more traditional book club? How have you noticed co-reading experiences affecting you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and what you’ve experienced.




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