How To

Use a Book to Stay in Touch With Friends

Emma Allmann

Staff Writer

In addition to learning how to write creatively at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Emma Allmann spends her time lugging books along with her on outdoor adventures. She uses hiking, running, cross-country skiing, and climbing as time to discover new and interesting things to write about. She has had a play produced at the Marcia Légère Student Play Festival and writes about the books she reads on her blog, I'm Right Here Because I'm Not All There. When she's not reading, writing, or adventuring she can be found making a list of good names for ice-cream. Twitter: @Emryal

We’ve all got friends we were once very close to but with whom we don’t do a great job of keeping in touch. Maybe they moved to a different city, maybe you got a new job, or maybe you’re both so busy rocking at life that your friendship has fallen by the wayside. When you do get to see each other you can pick up right where you left off, but you always kind of feel like you should do a better job in the in between time. You want to do a better job in the in between time. I propose using books to aid in the long distance and busy life friendship. You can keep in touch and get your reading done all at once. Here are a few ideas about how you can use books to stay involved in your friends lives!

Read the Same Book

This way when a character makes you angry, the plot took a twist to wring out all other twists, or when you really just don’t understand what happened; your friend can be your go to person to send all the reaction emojis and gifs in the world to. Start a message chain and use it to rant and rave about the book you are reading together. It’s a super exclusive book club just for friends that are bad at keeping in touch. After a while you may find you have an easier time keeping in touch about things other than books. Books were just the excuse to start a good habit.

Annotate a Book Together

Have you ever heard had this thought about a book? “I would totally read that but I would need to read it with someone to make sure I understand it.” This is your solution. Find a book that the two of you find a little bit intimidating. While you read the book write in the margins random thoughts that pop into your head, underline lines that speak to you, go on a rant about how silly a character is acting, and then send it to your friend. Not only does this help the two of you stay in touch but the book turns into a sort of diary of your friendship. This can be done with one copy of the book and you can send it back and forth or you can each have a copy that you send to each other after reading it.

Book Exchanges

This is perfect if you only see each other once every couple of months, or it can take the place of gifts at holidays. Instead of getting each other a present, pick a book from your bookshelf that you think they will enjoy and they can do the same for you. There is nothing cooler than picking a book you love and giving to a friend and having them love it as well! Next time you see each other you’ll have two new books to talk about. You can either give them back to each other or see how long it takes for you to switch bookshelves entirely!