Reading Friends – Real-life / Online or Both?

10 Jul

I was recently refecting on where the majority of my reading buddies reside – are they physically present in my life, or are they ones that I have developed through online relationships?

With that thought, I came to realize that with the exception of a couple of friends from work and various family members (my mom and my sisters specifically), most of my reading friends come from the social media website, Goodreads. For anyone not familiar with Goodreads, I refer to it as, Facebook for Readers and then follow that up, with saying that it is like crack. I am addicted to the website – I belong to several groups over there that I am actively involved in. I moderate or co-moderate a couple of groups (Romance Readers Reading Challenges, Nordic Noir, Outlander, Cover2Cover Challenge and Bar Belle’s), as well as being an active member in many more.

One of these groups that I am active in is Rated YA-MA. This is a group that is for adult readers who love YA fiction. The one thing I enjoy the most about the group is the ability to have in depth discussions about various YA books – either those that are super popular, or those that are less so. I especially like the fact that most of the discussions steer clear of the “OMG, Team Jacob, Team Edward, Team Peeta” discussions that seem to more often show up on other message boards that I frequent.

Another thing that I love about the group, is one of the programs that the moderators started called the Traveling Book Society. The moderators (or other members) choose a book to become a travelling book. Since the majority of the members are located in the US, they try to either get a hold of an ARC of a YA book, or one that is not readily available in the US. Members then sign-up to participate, and the book starts travelling between the members. At each stop, the members contribute postcards from the various locations the book has thus far visited, sign the book (although, I just realized that I forgot to do this for the last book) and leave notes in the book at various stages with parts that intrigue them, that they have questions etc.

I recently finished up the second book in the travelling circuit and the next person to receive the book on the list lived in the same state as me, and in fact, only lived about 45 minutes away – so it was a great opportunity for us to meet face to face. On a very hot sunday (I think it was easily 100 degrees in the shade), Evangeline and I met at a local Starbucks, to chat and hand the book over. I had a great time and look forward to meeting again in the future (since she has the next book in the travelling circuit and I’m next on the list).

Here is a picture that a nice lady, who we interrupted while she was getting her coffee took for us. I’m the one in the blue skirt.

What about you guys – do you have people in your everyday life that you talk about books with? Are you a goodreads lover? How do you think about your next great read?


Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Musings


Tags: , , ,

13 responses to “Reading Friends – Real-life / Online or Both?

  1. Angie

    July 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Great post! Rated YA-MA is my favorite group on GoodReads, everyone is so nice and it’s great to have people to chat books with! You’re lucky that you live so close to another member. I think it would be fun to be able to meet up with “online friends” in real life. 🙂

    • Dee

      July 10, 2012 at 12:30 am

      I know – i was so excited when I saw that the next person on the list (actually the next 2 – we had someone pull out) were both in the same state as me

  2. MountainKat

    July 10, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Ah, this is a very interesting topic to me! One of my very best friends, and certainly one I have the most in common with, I met online in a reading group! We learned over time how very much we had in common and then that she lived near where my dad and stepmother lived. It so happened that first my stepmother and then my dad became ill and I was traveling up there quite often. We swallowed our fear that meeting in real life would destroy the friendship we had been building and met in person. Our fears were unfounded and we became even better friends! We saw each other several times before my dad passed away, she was my savior from sibling tension more than once! Now we chat just about everyday online and are involved in many of the same groups at goodreads. I met another online reading friend when I was visiting family in Georgia a few years ago, we had a blast together! And just two weeks ago, I spent the day with another online reading buddy from England when she and her family were visiting near me! It was so much fun!

    No, I don’t get to talk reading with many of my friends or family in real life, though I am trying to corrupt one or two, but do get plenty book talking is done online. I love hanging out at goodreads and finding new books to read! I have a blast participating in challenges and have read more in the last year and a half that I have been active there than ever before – and still my TBR pile grows!

    • Dee

      July 10, 2012 at 11:14 am

      That is really cool MK – making friends through reading that have become lifelong ones 😉

  3. Samantha

    July 10, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Most of the time when I’m discussing books it is up on Goodreads. However, most of the ladies at work, come into my office to talk books here and there. We all have different taste (and somehow I fit right in the middle) but it is so refreshing to know people who have the same interests as me. As for my friends, while they all enjoy reading, none of them possess the same passion for books as myself. They are all in awe of the books that I have collected throughout the years and the way I get whenever I’m around them.

    I guess meeting online friends in real life is fun and scary. For me, last year when I went to AAD, I was anxious and excited. I met some of the people in one of my GR groups and really enjoyed myself. Some of my favorite people to chat with about books are online, so why wouldn’t I think we would connect in real life? I look forward to meeting some more of new found friends 🙂

    • Dee

      July 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

      I wish I could have come to AAD last year – maybe next year since I’m already going to GRL12 this year

      • Samantha

        July 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        You would have had fun. I’m thinking about doing something next year. Figure out which one I want to go to.


    July 10, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Very good post. I have a variety of cyber and real friends but by far my cyber-life is my literary world.

  5. Leea

    July 10, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Great idea for a blog post. Sounds like a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing. There are some GR friends I’d love to meet face to face.

  6. Ian Seta

    July 10, 2012 at 6:46 am

    It’s odd but most of my friends on Facebook are people I know in real life, most of my friends on Goodreads are people I met online. Recently a friend from Facebook was automatically added to my Goodreads friends. I agonized over it for a week before quietly unfriending her, and making sure that Facebook and Goodreads were unlinked.
    My reason is, for me books are very personal. On Goodreads I’m quite comfortable talking about my feelings and my insecurities, but I think if I had real-life friends there I might shut up.

    • Dee

      July 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

      I don’t have my facebook linked to my GR either for much the same reason – I have lots of work people and stuff on my facebook who I don’t necessarily want to share books I am reading with etc – and anyone I have on there who also reads, I typically have friended separately

    • Samantha

      July 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Ian- I can totally relate to that. Sometimes you need some sort of separation.

    • MountainKat

      July 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      I keep Facebook and goodreads separate as well. GR is my escape and my leisure time, not my work or family time!


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