Readalong Tips

Participating in a readalong can be a fun way to read a book. Knowing you’re reading the book as part of a book club or following a schedule together means you’ll definitely have people to discuss it with during and after.

But sometimes, things don’t go to plan.

You might be over-eager to read ahead or get busy and fall behind. Both of these things are okay. This isn’t anything worth stressing over. So since I’m doing a readalong as I write this post, I thought I’d post a few tips I’ve come up with over the last few years.

Work Out What You Can Read When

Sometimes readalongs have set schedules that make reading your readalong book easier in small increments. If you want to discuss the book daily, for instance, during a Tandem Collective readalong, following the schedule can make things easier for you. Especially if you’re busy or need to read multiple books at once.

However, these aren’t always set up for you.

If you’re reading for a book club and have a discussion date, you’ll need to work out how much you need to reach each day on your own. So, keeping the discussion date in mind, work out when you need to start reading the book and how many pages you want to read a day. This will vary depending on how long the book is and how much time you have.

Another great reason to do this is that if you need to catch up, you know how much you need to read to catch up.

Communicate With Your Fellow Readers

One of the best parts of reading with other people is having people to discuss the book with. So do so!

It might be scary, especially if you don’t know anyone else reading the book, but it doesn’t hurt to pipe up.

If you have a group chat, pipe in with a thought or opinion you want to hear others’ ideas. Or, if it’s a discussion meeting or live stream, answer one of the questions people ask. It might be scary, but you might find that other people agree with you! Or you could get some more book recs too.

Also, if you need to catch up on the book and want to avoid spoilers, let the others participating know. They generally won’t mind, so you won’t get spoiled by accident.

Read Ahead If You Want

Most of what I’ve talked about has been about reading along with others or falling behind. But sometimes, we read the book way earlier than we need to. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but there are a few things you should remember if you do this.

The main thing is to not spoil the other people reading the book. If you’re ahead of everyone else, keep your thoughts to yourself until people catch up with you. If you know someone else has finished the book too, you can message them privately but try not to post spoilers where any of your fellow readers could see them. Even if it is a really old book.

Other things to remember are that you should try taking notes or tabbing the book. If you’ve finished the book early, you might not remember what you thought by the time the discussion comes around. So help yourself out by giving yourself some reminders of what you thought.

Have Fun

My final tip is the most important one: to have fun.

If you aren’t enjoying a book or stressing about finishing the book in time, then drop out. You don’t need to read any book, even if you did agree to for a club or something. Reading should be fun, so put the book down if you’d rather be reading something else.

If you need to let someone know you want to drop the book, make sure you do, but it’s unlikely to be a problem.

Readalongs can be a great way to read a book and make new friends. So read the book, chat with others who’ve read it, and have a great time.

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