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Words With Friends: On the Joys of Tandem Reading

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I learned to read on my own when I was barely five (getting my parents excited about the possibility that they had a child prodigy on their hands, a notion quickly dispelled by my total lack of math skills), and from then on, I never stopped. I was, to put it mildly, not the most sociable kid, partly because of my constitutional shyness and partly because we moved to new countries three times before I turned eight, leaving me faltering to figure out schoolyard lingo in Italy when I’d just barely cracked it in Russia. Through all that, though, books were my constant and faithful friends. I know—barf—but it’s true; the joy I got from cracking a new Baby-Sitters Club book or Nancy Drew mystery remains close to unrivaled in my adult life.

Actually, that’s not true. There is something better than reading alone, I’ve discovered, and it’s reading side by side with friends who don’t judge you for wanting to hit “pause” on socialization and disappear into a book. In ninth grade, I struck up a tenuous friendship with two of the other kids who’d also come in from different middle schools. One, a rangy athletic type with a host of popular older siblings, quickly found her place in the upper echelons of the high-school caste system and promptly forgot me; the other, a quiet comedy nerd and fellow bookworm named Jazmine, is still my best friend to this day. Our history is long and complex, made up of old SNL clips and hastily chugged, illicitly obtained Smirnoff Ices and endless subway rides from the Bronx to Manhattan, but I knew we had reached a point of no return, friendship-wise, when we began to read together.

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Sydney Sweeney and Brittany O’Grady on The White Lotus.Photo: Mario Perez/HBO

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.vogue.com/article/words-with-friends-on-the-joys-of-tandem-reading?utm_source=pocket_collection_story

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