Why You Should Join the Bookish Games

Posted April 5, 2016 by Inge in Tea Party // Random Thoughts / 7 Comments

“Playing Bookish Games was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had no idea what I was getting into when I signed up, but the only way to really learn is to jump right in. Mafia will make you completely obsessed and paranoid, but in the best possible way. Not only is it always a ton of fun, whether you’re in the game or observing from the dead player chatroom, but it’s also a great way to meet equally obsessive, paranoid, and awesome people. Besides, who doesn’t want an excuse to “kill” their friends? :P”

– Maraia @maraiazoo

“Hello. I’d like to play a game.” These are the famous words of Jigsaw, a fictional psychopath who likes to see people get killed. So he has that in common with the ladies of Oh, the Books! who host the Bookish Games, which is what I’d like to tell you about today.

First of all, What is the Bookish Games? You know that game you used to play when you were young? You sit in a circle and some people are townies and some people are bad guys, and the bad guys get to kill people at “night”, and during the “day” you have to try to eliminate each other by voting each other off. It’s also called Mafia, Werewolf, Salem’s Town… But if you still have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the Wikipedia page. Yay, Wikipedia!

I’ve been playing for a few rounds now and it’s honestly so much fun every single time. I thought it would be good to share the fun with you guys! You are missing out, man. You’re going to thank me later. So here’s a list of reasons why I love the Bookish Games and why I think you should join. I’ve also included statements from other players who love the Games just as much! They may be slightly obsessed, even. You’re welcome to join…

“I just died in my first Bookish Games, but I find it to be an immersive, fun experience because it’s all about psychology and communication. Trying to figure out who might be telling the truth, who might be lying, and which manipulations are earnest or malevolent, without the cue of facial expressions or tonal inflection, is actually really difficult. But then when your suspicion turns out to be correct, there’s an amazing sense of accomplishment, like you’ve figured out a really difficult logic puzzle. Plus, it’s nice to revisit book series I’ve read and loved, and feel like my familiarity with them is an asset. :)”

– Beth @ Printcess

It’s a game with your blog buddies!

Just a fun, harmless game. Ha. Ha ha ha. With your friends. Ha. Nice little friends. What could possibly go wrong? Ha ha ha.

They’re based on your favourite book

Each edition is based on a different book. Past editions have been inspired by Harry Potter, Divergent, The Hunger Games, the Lunar Chronicles, the Grisha Series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Ready Player One, and Death Note. I mean, is there anything cooler than playing a game based on your book babies?

“Why Shannon loves the Bookish Games: 1. I am a masochist. The games are intense, guys. And when Val @ The Innocent Smiley was freaking out about them last round, I knew I had to play, so I don’t know what that says about me? 2. It’s a GAME about BOOKS. Need I say more? 3. You get to think that your bookish friends are criminals and murderers and no one thinks that it’s weird at all! 4. It sharpens the mind! If you are elderly like me, keeping track of facts can be hard. Bookish Games makes you get your shit together. 5. Quite frankly, it is addicting, and I love it! It might consume your waking thoughts, you might have dreams about it (true story, I had a dream that Val, Sebastian and Jeann were actively teaming up to kill me in REAL LIFE), but that’s just because it is so fun! What will I even do with my life when it ends!?”

– Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

Our past and future editions. The notebook represents Death Note, the moon card represents the Lunar Chronicles, and the Xbox represents Ready Player One, which I lent to a friend. Also, I just realised I totally forgot to add The Knife of Never Letting Go *facepalm*
Our past and future editions. The notebook represents Death Note, the moon card represents the Lunar Chronicles, and the Xbox represents Ready Player One, which I lent to a friend. Also, I just realised I totally forgot to add The Knife of Never Letting Go *facepalm*

Asti is your host

So I wrote this post before Asti decided to retire from modding, but I still wanted to leave it in because she’s been such a great moderator for so many editions. She is an evil mastermind. So if you think you have her and the game figured out, think again. There are lots of curve balls and plot twists and you never know when one’s going to hit you in the face.

(Seriously, Asti, thank you for everything. You’ve been awesome. ♥)

“For me, the most fun part of the Bookish Games is not the game itself but that I made new friends while playing. It’s amazing how you work against each other and get into super intense discussion with some of these people during the game, but at the end of the day, you get to know new people who are just as passionate about books as you and you’ll laugh about all of it. The fun you have during the games definitely carries over to twitter etc long after a game is over.

The games themselves are a hell lot of fun too though. You definitely have to invest a lot of time (comments can pile up fast and all of a sudden you have to spend 2h reading comments you missed while you were asleep/at work/…) and it gets quite intense sometimes BUT it’s 100% worth it if you actively participate.

The only thing more fun than getting to be one of the characters from my favorite books, trying to kill off the evil guys is BEING one of the bad guys, pretending to be good, helping them killing off one of their own and hiding my evil laughter when I’m successful.

The Bookish Games are all about analyzing other people’s comments/behavior and making up crazy theories, so if you are into these kind of things you should definitely join too! What could be more fun than a game set in the world of one of your favorite books!?”

– Crini @ All About Books

She’ll be playing next time, though

Which means all bets are off. Also, she’ll likely kill me first thing. That woman is ruthless.

Your host will be Kelley instead

Which means you’re screwed, basically.

“I enjoy the bookish games so much because they allow me to meet new people. Also, as a stay at home mom, they give me a reason to flex my poor neglected brain muscles..lol And try to help my team win, whether I’m mafia or a townie. Plus it’s just plain fun :)”

– Jenn @ The Bookish Ginger

But it’s based on Daughter of Smoke and Bone

So you get screwed by angels, which is kind of nice? Maybe?

“A fun way to meet people from around the world + find new books to read. It’s also really fun and intense.”

– Adam @thebooksbastard

It’s challenging and strategic

I know what I’m about to say is icky, but I’m saying it anyway: it’s a WORK OUT for your mind. Oof, glad we got that out of the way. Devise theories, plot devious schemes, form alliances, and analyse players to reach that ultimate goal: for your team to win. Will you be on the side of the angels? (BOOM, that was a DOSAB and a Sherlock reference. I’m on fire.)

It doesn’t take up much of your time

Ha. Ha ha ha.


You know, technically you only need to post at least twice in a “Day”, which lasts from Saturday to Wednesday. In reality, though, it takes a bit longer to read up on comments and analyse what you’ve seen.

Which badge will you carry?
Which badge will you carry?

“When I signed up to the Bookish Games last year for the Lunar Chronicles edition, little did I know how addicted I was going to become over a game where everyone has secret identities. I’ve played Werewolf before, which is a version of Mafia which the game is based on, but with the bookish twist and turns that are thrown in, it’s absolutely genius and a tonne of fun!

Saying that Bookish Games will take over your life is an understatement. You’ll be questioning everyone’s motives, finding out who you trust, and over analysing every word they write to see if they’re on the mafia team or a townie team. And those who are on the mafia team are essentially spies, who have to blend in as much as possible! It’s lots of fun in a blog setting, playing with other bloggers who you know and making new friends (or enemies, as I feared LOL).

It does require a bit of time to be invested into the game though, which I was surprised with at the time. New players might find it a bit overwhelming as everyone seemingly knows what they’re doing, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it and dive in with your thoughts.

I’m absolutely hooked onto the Bookish Games now and would encourage others to join the madness!”

– Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

We’ll be there

Kara and I are definitely signing up for the next round. We’re currently trying to convince Aly and Angie to join in as well. Either way, we’ll be there. It’s a date. 😉

It’s fun

We keep it friendly. Of course the aim of the game is to reach your goal, but have a little fun along the way! Enjoy the time you’re playing and remember there are other people on the other end of the screen. We’re a good bunch.

“I love the Bookish Games for so many reasons. First of all it’s just a lot of fun to play a game with fellow book nerds who love books just as much as I do. What makes it even better is that each edition is based on actual books so that you get the chance to play as one of your favorite bookish characters like Harry Potter, Katniss or Tris (though personally I would rather kill myself if I had to play as one of the protagonists from the Divergent series :P). But it’s also fun if you don’t know the books yet because this way you get to discover new books and maybe even find your next favorite series.

That was the fun part, let’s now talk about the dark side of the Bookish Games – because let’s be honest, they will turn you into a paranoid, obsessed and nervous wreck and will completely take over your life for a few weeks 😛 But don’t let this scare you away because nothing beats the feeling of having managed to find one of the bad guys after putting hours of work into analyzing their comments and trying to find possible patterns or the tiniest slip that gives away their evil intentions. Or imagine you’re even one of the bad guys yourself and barely managed to save your neck in a tough interrogation just to blame some of the completely innocent guys and watch them get eliminated instead of you – you’ll feel like an evil genius (and who doesn’t secretly love that feeling? :P)! And if you’re REALLY lucky you even get to be a serial killer and your only mission is to kill as many players as possible – JUST FOR FUN!

So if you love challenging (mind) games, always felt like you were born to be a famous detective or a devious supervillain or if you just want to meet some amazing people who share your passion for books, then you’ll definitely have to join the Bookish Games! ;)”

– Sebastian @ Büchermonster

Bookish Games

“For me, the Bookish Games have been as much a part of my life as blogging has been. I remember signing up for the first ever games which was Harry Potter edition back in 2013 and I can honestly say that it’s been quite an amazing and a pretty unique experience.

There are all these players from around the world getting together and just either trying to make up crazy theories or being fooled by those crazy theories and voting off their team members while the Mafia has a good laugh. Things end up taking an intense turn with all the comments piling up, timezones being difficult so it can get hard to be on top of your game, but sometimes just as everything clicks into place, BAM! you’re dead and then the fun in the dead players chat begins.

I went from playing a Townie with powers to having no powers to being just plain Mafia and I have loved every moment of it because every role comes with a unique set of what-the-hell-is-going-on-now?! The amount of work that goes into the games and how the books itself play an important role in the games just floor me every time when the games are over and Asti and Kelley explain exactly what went down.

I’m so glad that these games exist because I get to meet new people who end up becoming great friends whether it happens after arguing which suspicious player to vote off during the Day or deciding who to kill off at Night and boost Asti’s already inflated evil ego (heee).”

– Sana @ Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile

If you’re unsure and want to get a feel of the game first, you can always read up on past editions or request to join the Dead Players’ Chat for the next game. This is where dead players and other spectators can analyse to their heart’s desire without actually being in the heat of the game. Having said that, the best way to get a feel of the game is to strap on your brave boots and simply dive in!

To the tune of this lovely song about Australia, “Come join the Mafia, you might accidentally get killed!”

If you’re interested, make sure you sign up for the Bookish Games newsletter at the bottom of the page, so you know exactly when the next edition starts! (This is a newsletter solely for the Bookish Games, so you won’t be spammed! You’ll only receive an e-mail right before sign-ups go live!)

“As I write, I am currently dead. My character has been unceremoniously been killed at Night by some Mafioso and I can’t really complain too much about it. Why? Because it is was amazing to even be able to play in such a crazy, complex, mind-fudgery event as Bookish Games. I’m really into rhetoric and analysis and cloak-and-dagger activities, so these games are like a drug for me. There’s an unbelievable high associated with rightly accusing someone, or on the flip side, blending into a crowd and convincing others you are innocent. I have to thank Asti, Kelley and now Maraia for putting together such an awesome game for us to play. I can’t tell you how many views on Oh The Books are attributed to me refreshing the page over and over in anticipation for that next comment [somehow I can never remember to or get notifications working haha]. And don’t worry if you think the game might be too hard, or too challenging. Everyone’s play style contributes to the games, and the more people supporting these games the better. Because what makes these games wonderful are the people who play them!”

– Anne @ Lovely Literature

Are you ready to play Mafia?

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7 responses to “Why You Should Join the Bookish Games

  1. HAHAHAHA OMG that comment from Shannon, that is absolutely HILARIOUS! Oh my gosh I just remember my first Bookish Games when I was like “Oh man, I’m so glad I don’t know many of these people because they’re never going to talk to me again!” Anyway, it’s definitely an addiction analysing everything, finding out their motives, seeing if you’re right or wrong. It’s definitely a very tense and anxiety-causing game too, but omg so much fun!

    I’m really sad to hear that Asti is retiring from modding the games, but she definitely needs that break! THANK YOU SO MUCH for being an amazing mod and host! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us for the upcoming games.

  2. Rebecca

    I’ve wanted to join in Bookish Games, but when I first read the post about it, I was so terribly confused. This make me want to join in next time, but even reading the wiki page turns my brain to mush. I’d like to participate, but I think the game might just go over my head…

    • The game can definitely seem confusing until you get the hang of it. The best way to learn is by playing, but like Inge said in her post, you can also observe from the Dead Players’ Chat if you’re still unsure.

  3. “It doesn’t take up much of your time.”
    Lies, all lies. 😉
    It’s definitely a Sherlock moment…for four days a week. And then total suspense for 3! And super addictive, even when one stinks at it. Shannon’s comment cracks me up, but it’s true.

    I actually know about Bookish Games because I was Kelley’s OTSPSecretSister, so I’m stoked she’ll be modding the next game! And also, really, really hoping Asti and I are on the same team.

  4. I love this post, Inge! It makes me happy how obsessed we all get with this game. Everyone’s quotes made me laugh, but especially Shannon’s. 🙂

  5. I am literally in panic mode, waiting for the email telling me I am dead. This is how I spend all Thursday nights/Friday mornings. It is hard to explain how much FUN it is when you are dreaming of murders and panicking about being night-killed. But you really do have to play to understand! I thought Val had lost her MIND last time. We watched the game, and she just kept saying how stressed she was over it, and that it took up ALL her time, but then said “but you HAVE to join next time, it’s the best”, and I am thinking… “wow, she has lost her mind, why would I do this to myself?” But yep! I get it now, I do!

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