Week in Review

Silent Book Clubs

Have you heard of Silent Book Clubs? Billed as an introvert’s happy hour … the official silent book club began in 2012. I’m not sure why it took me six years to discover this bibliophile dream, but I am now obsessed.

I first learned about the concept this spring when a friend saw a meeting advertised at the local library. The concept is simple – and brilliant!

Participants show up with a book they are currently reading. The meeting opens with personal introductions and a brief description of their book (and perhaps why it is of interest). This typically takes about 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the number of participants.

The next portion of the meeting is reserved for quiet reading time. Everyone reads the book they brought – and if held at a local coffee shop or pub – simultaneously enjoys a hot or cold beverage. This lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

At the end of silent reading, everyone gathers together one final time to share what they read and/or if they are still engaged in the story.

I love so many aspects of this “club”:

  • I can read what I want and not feel as though I must “study” before the meeting in order to contribute intelligently to the conversation.
  • I do not have to read at a certain pace (in other words, cram the night before to finish the book).
  • I add new books to my TBR list because others are invested in the books they brought.
  • Once we start talking about other books – and comparing our current read to something similar – even more books are added. I love ALL the books!
  • I am silently socializing – no need to worry about petty small talk.
  • I am part of a local as well as an online community. I feel like I belong…
  • The community is open – there is no need to close the group to a select few because we are all reading independently of one another.

I’m sure I can think other benefits if given the time, but this will do for now.

I’m curious … are you a part of a book club, silent or otherwise? What is your favorite aspect of this kind of community?

Other News:

It’s been a while since I posted in the Sunday Salon. It’s not because I’m not reading (and after discovering the silent book club – my reading time has multiplied). In fact, I’m well ahead of my 2018 GoodReads reading challenge goal (44 out of 52 completed).

However, I haven’t made time to share my progress because… I have a new online home. While reading is still a major part of my life (and always will be) I decided to branch out from a book review blog to a lifestyle blog. WelcomeΒ to Molly’s Cozy Book Nook.

In this space, I will continue to share my reading life and writing adventures. But I will also blog about other interests I am pursuing now that I am (mostly) retired.

Lately, I’ve blogged about:

  • Julia Cameron’s book for midlife creatives: It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again. I am working my way through the twelve chapters of the book – one chapter per week. This past week I focused on Reigniting a Sense of Honesty.
  • Paris in July:Β one of my favorite summer blogging themes. This week I wrote about Giverny: Monet’s Home.
  • Totoro Family Recipes is also making an occasional appearance. This week I experimented with Cora’s recipe for Taralli: Italian Bagel Bites.

Upcoming Events:

I know from reading Bryan’s blog that two read-athons are scheduled for the end of the month. While I would love to participate in both, our family vacation to the lake will occupy my time the last weekend of July. I’m sure I will read sometime while away, but I cannot commit to a 24-hour marathon. Somehow, I don’t think the grandchildren would understand.

However, I am looking forward to the #24in48 readathon next weekend (July 21-22). I am a bit out of practice for these kinds of events, so I will set a goal of reading six hours over the course of the weekend. Baby steps, I know. But perhaps I can work my way up to twelve hours the next time and then the full 24-hour stint by 2019.

How about your summer reading plans? Do you plan to participate in one of these reading challenges?

 

14 Comments

    • Molly Totoro

      I’m sure silent book clubs are not for everyone, but they sure fulfill a need in my life. There’s even a fairly active FaceBook community πŸ™‚

  • Christie Hawkes

    I have never heard of silent book clubs, but can definitely see the draw. I love to read, and I am always looking for new books. I also like to connect with new people, but as an introvert, I like the idea of brief introductions, sharing just as much as you want, and then having time set aside to read. Thanks for sharing this Molly!

    • Molly Totoro

      I’m so glad you can relate to my joy in finding this perfect “club” idea for introverts πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kay

    I hadn’t heard of silent book club’s either, but I certainly understand the draw and appeal. As an introvert that is able to turn on my social side (occasionally and in the right circumstances), I think it sounds great. I might look for one myself. Yes, I’ve mentioned that I am part of a couple of book groups. I love the mystery group especially that I started 10 years ago and have been involved with ever since. Molly, I think you’d like that one too. I even talked my son-in-law’s mother (more of an introvert than you ever thought about being – seriously!) into coming. She shows up most months and has always read the book. I tell everyone that reading the book or theme is not mandatory, but I ask everyone their thoughts. We’re very inclusive and it is a big group that keeps growing. Good luck with the readathons. I love your new way of blogging, by the way. πŸ™‚

  • Leslie Clingan

    Hmm, I think a silent book club would appeal to me. I am hosting (crazy!!) a virtual book club which has been semi-silent as few of the members actually comment on the books as we read them…which is okay, too! We are about to begin book 3.

    I am enjoying It’s Never Too Late and bounded (almost) out of bed today, to do my second day of morning writing. So glad to have found you and through you to have found Julia.

    • Molly Totoro

      Leslie – I love the idea of a virtual book club! I even think one could form a virtual silent book club πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you are enjoying Julia – and congratulations on doing morning pages two days in a row. That’s fantastic!

    • Molly Totoro

      We do have a lot of fun, Anne! Truth be told… I’ve only attended one session so far (but it made such an impact on me). We had six in attendance, which worked well. I think we could probably accommodate a few more, but certainly no more than twelve. Otherwise, we’d spend so much time explaining what books we brought that we would have no time to read πŸ™‚

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