It was only a matter of time before sitting and reading a book got “branded”; turned into a trend involving a crowd and a coffee drink; conceptualized as something other than a private pastime.
Silent reading parties are now all the rage, and they’ve made their way to Phoenix. Changing Hands Bookstore has announced something called the Introverts Happy Hour, which launches on September 26. Next month, the Second Wednesday Silent Reading Club will première at downtown’s Grand Central Coffee Company. And entrepreneur Joey Robert Parks is hosting the city’s inaugural public reading party later this month at the newly redone Hilton Garden Inn.
The original idea is credited to Christopher Frizzelle, the editor-in-chief at a Seattle weekly newspaper called The Stranger, according to Parks, a Phoenix-based ghostwriter. Frizzelle’s concept was borrowed by another alt publication editor, San Francisco’s Dan Stone, who runs that city’s Radio Silence magazine. As tends to happen, the trend really took off in New York, where pubs and cafes began hosting happy hour events that asked patrons to show up with a book they might like to sit and quietly read to themselves while imbibing.
It sounds like something cooked up in the Saturday Night Live writer’s room, but silent reading parties are a real thing. “I love to read and I love to bring like-minded people together,” says Parks, “so I thought it would be fun to host something similar in Phoenix.”
There is an upcoming meeting in DC in a couple weeks, for example, as well as a dozen other meetings in Manhattan, Kansas, NYC, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Francisco, and other cities.
Coincidentally, Book Riot has posted a guide to throwing your own silent reading party.
Yes, silent book clubs (or, silent reading parties) are indeed that common. I have yet to attend one, though, and I am not sure I know anyone who has.
Have you joined a silent book club?
image by cremeglace