Silent Book Club :: What’s All The Buzz About

Silent Book Club :: What’s All The Buzz About

Silent Book Club, I’d seen it mentioned here and there over the last year or so and it definitely caught my attention, but I wasn’t really sure what it was and I didn’t have the motivation to find out. Until the day I did. And what I found was exactly what I didn’t know I needed.

Silent Book Club :: What's All The Buzz About

I love reading, I Don’t Want to Read That.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m bad at book club. Half the time I have no interest in the book; the other times I start reading and life gets in the way, or I can’t make the set club time, or I don’t want to analyze the book like I’m writing a report. I just want to read and enjoy.

I’ve been in my fair share of book clubs over the years. Some were in person and fizzled out for different reasons. I’ve been in some online book clubs, I did okay, but usually fell off when a book wasn’t available by the set deadline, or was unbearably long, or completely unappealing to me. I just want to read what I want to read.

So, What Is It?

A silent book club is when a group of people get together to read on their own. I know, it sounds counterintuitive. The typical format is gather, chat for a bit about what you’re reading (audiobooks count too!) or whatever and then spend an hour or so reading whatever you want to read, uninterrupted; and then chat again. That’s right, no bailing on book club because you didn’t read the book. There is no assigned book. No pressure to remember every detail or worry you’ll sound silly. Silent Book Club gives you set amount of time to sit and read. Bring your headphones for your audiobook, your kindle, your phone with a reading app, or an actual book and sit and read. No one to judge you, no one to interrupt you, no other responsibilities sitting just out of the corner of your eye reminding you that you have something else you need to do. Just quiet reading time.

I was surprised to learn that The Silent Book Club was started in 2012. I was not surprised to find out it was started by two women who loved & missed reading, but couldn’t find the time to do it because, well, life got in the way. Kids, phones, work the usual things we deal with.

Silent Book Club :: What's All The Buzz About

My Silent Book Club Experience

I found my local Silent Book Club and joined the Facebook group. It turns out I had just missed their inaugural meeting. I marked my calendar for the next meeting and committed to going.

The day arrived, and despite my hesitations and raging introverted-ness, I drove to the coffee shop. I was nervous, almost like going on a blind date, I didn’t know anyone and the place was packed. Then I saw a welcoming group of women, all with books or kindles. I sheepishly asked, “is this Silent Book Club?” I was in the right place.

We did just as described. We chatted about our books, ourselves, our coffee. It was low-pressure, no stress. I wasn’t the only newbie and that was a relief; I was also not the only introvert. After our initial 30 minutes of chatting our leader let us know it was time to read. It was nice to be able to sit and read for a solid hour with no interruption.  It was nice to be reading with a group; it kept me focused on the reading. If a random thought crossed my mind, I didn’t want to disrupt anyone else, so I refocused on my book. After the reading hour was up. Some left, and others stayed. We chatted a bit more and that was it.

I’m so glad I went and I’ll definitely go again. I learned about some new books to add to my to be read list, got to take some time just for myself and got to do something I love, but don’t have nearly enough time to do: read.

The Silent Book Club website describes SBC like this: “Silent Book Club is about community. Everyone is welcome, and anyone can join or launch a chapter.” Who could ask for anything better?!

A native of the New Orleans 'burbs, Melanie has lived in Baton Rouge since starting her bachelors degree at LSU. She earned her BA in Mass Communication and a master’s degree in Social Work both from LSU. In her professional life Melanie focuses on women’s mental health. Melanie and her husband Adam have been together for almost two decades. They have 2 bright and curious kids who keep them on their toes. When not working or moming Melanie can be found exploring yet another new hobby, trying to “get organized” and avoiding the laundry. She loves sitcoms, traveling, iced coffee and carbs.


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