Silent Book Clubs for introverted bookworms are springing up globally

It's a novel idea: bring a book of your choice and read near other people.

Book clubs have had a resurgence of late, but these are not your mother's Agatha Christie and tea sandwiches weekly reading circles. They have been modernised, digitised and customised.

From monthly Instagram-based book recommendations from Hollywood starlet, Reese Witherspoon, to the Silent Book Club, people are seeking out accessible literary communities that meet their exact wants and needs.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Silent Book Club (@silentbookclub) on

While Instagram book clubs take the people out of the book club experience, but keep the rules, Silent Book Club throws out the pressure of a rigid structure, while maintaining the social comfort of a club.

It's a simple concept. Introverted book-lovers turn up to an agreed upon meet-up spot - a library, local coffee shop, a bar- and get comfortable with a book of their choice. Then, a bell rings. That marks the beginning of an hour of silent reading.

The bell rings again to mark the end of the hour, and people are free to chat or just leave as they please. The only rule of Silent Book Club is silence within the designated reading hour. No assigned books. No hosts. No pressure.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I wished that I had a book club where basically there was no assigned reading but you could just show up, hang out with your friends, talk about what you were reading", said Silent Book Club co-founder, Guinevere de la Mare, to NPR. "Read your book with no pressure to prepare snacks or vacuum your house or do any of the things that normal, traditional book club hosting entails".

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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And that is what Guinevere and her co-founder, Laura Gluhanich, created in Silent Book Club in 2012. There are now over 70 chapters globally, with bibliophiles meeting to read together in Serbia, Tunisia, Israel and even Broken Hill, NSW!

Their website states: "Everyone is welcome, and anyone can join or launch a chapter." The core organisation provides logistical support for those looking to set up a new branch, but each chapter has their own style.

So, if you're a bookworm looking for a peaceful oasis amongst like-minded friends, look for your local Silent Book Club chapter. Or, better yet, found your own. 

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