Despite the fact that I hated the last Tana French book I read, I couldn’t resist when I saw her latest on my local library’s new release, no-waiting-required shelf, branded with a neon “7-day checkout” sticker.
What’s a girl to do? I took it home with me, and shared my find on the internet:
And within minutes, this is what the internet sent me in return:
Jessica–who blogs at Quirky Bookworm–is a fellow bookworm (ahem) and kindred spirit, so of course I wanted to synchro-read! We quickly decided to email each other our impressions and theories every four chapters or so.
Well, it mostly worked. I loved being able to trade thoughts with another reader while I was blazing through this pageturner, but I think we both kept turning the pages faster than we were supposed to! It took both of us less than 48 hours to finish Broken Harbor. That did detract somewhat from the synchro-reading experience, but it was still a lot of fun, and I’ll definitely be looking for more synchro-reading companions in the future.
Jessica’s giving Broken Harbor a more traditional review over on her own site today, and she’s including portions of the emails we traded back and forth while reading.
Now that I have one synchro-read under my belt, here’s my advice to you (and to my future self):
1. Find a kindred spirit and agree on a book before you’re 31 pages in.
In the words of Anne Shirley, “kindred spirits aren’t as scarce as I used to think.” If you want to find someone to synchro-read with, tell your friends. Throw up a post on your facebook page. Tweet about it. Ask again if you need to. There are a whole lot of book lovers out there. You can find somebody, or a group of somebodies–I’m sure of it!
2. Make your plan.
Jessica and I didn’t have a fancy plan: we just agreed to email each other our thoughts every 4 chapters or so, without specifying a timeline. I was looking forward to trading opinions and impressions, especially for a mystery like Broken Harbor.
3. Stick to your plan.
What can I say? We got a little ahead of ourselves. Tana French books draw you in, and we both felt compelled to see what would happen next…so we lost a little bit of the synchro-read’s benefit because we were both racing to the finish! Agree before you begin not only on how often you’ll check in, but when. And stick to it.
4. Adjust as necessary.
Our first synchro-read was great, but the next one will be better. We’ll both have a better feel for what to expect, how often to check in, and what’s worth sharing. I know from our first attempt that Jessica and I are great reading buddies–we like similar books and we both move at a brisk pace–but some of you may not hit it off with your first synchro-read partner. That’s okay. Learn from your experience, and adjust accordingly.
Have you ever done a synchro-read? Would you like to? Share your advice–and your bookworm dreams–in comments!