August 18, 2022

An introverted book lover’s paradise

Even introverts need a place to socialize.

Silent Book Clubs or Silent Book Parties provide a venue for this, and there are a variety of options to suit every book-lover’s taste in Cincinnati. Unlike a regular book club where everyone reads the same book, silent book clubs don’t have an assigned reading. Everyone brings the book of their choice. Fiction and non-fiction are welcome and they all read together in a quiet space.

That doesn’t mean there’s no conversation at all, though, said reference librarian Adam Vorobok, who organizes the Silent Book Club at the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library. After their meeting, there is an optional session to discuss what everyone is reading.

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“It connects you with people you might never have met before,” Vorobok said. “You may have seen them in a bookstore, but there’s no way to interact with them before, and now you have a chance to interact with them.”

It’s also a great opportunity to see what everyone is reading and connect for the love of books. The library has a strong goal of building community, Vorobok said, and giving adults a space to connect.

The library chapter is affiliated with the national organization Silent Book Club and has just come together since the pandemic. The crowd of like-minded book lovers including authors, students, teachers and librarians come for the monthly outdoor program at Mount Storm Park in Clifton.

The Mercantile Library’s Silent Reading Party is also returning from a pandemic hiatus. Held in the historic library space surrounded by stacks of books, elegant furniture and artwork, attendees are encouraged to bring the book of interest to them for a quiet reading session and some light refreshments.

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The historic Mercantile Library has an extensive collection of volumes covering a wide range of topics.

Although the Mercantile has members, the Silent Reading Party and many other library events are open to the public, said Hillary Copsey, book advisor at the Mercantile Library.

The event is a bit odd for library staff, she said, because they don’t usually silence patrons. The library is generally open for discussions about books and other topics.

“I mean, it’s a silent reading night,” Copsey said. “But you know, there are whispers that happen for sure. And so there are conversations. ‘Oh, I love that book’ or ‘What did you think of that one?’ “

There will also be special cocktails for the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey event. It’s a party, after all.

The Silent Book Club organization will also host an event with cocktails at the Graduate Hotel near the University of Cincinnati campus. Catering to more students, the event’s website explains that there is no homework allowed, just reading and crowd bonding.

Although reading in silence is not everyone’s cup of tea, for many it is a welcoming space to share their passion for literature, as well as to enjoy the company of others.

“I think the connection doesn’t have to be loud and loud,” Copsey said. “It can also be quiet. There’s something about sociable silence.”

Silent Reading at the Mercantile Library

Merchant Library Silent Reading Party

When: June 29, 5-7 p.m. Scheduled as a monthly event, information available at mercantilelibrary.com.

Where: Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut Street, Downtown.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library Silent Book Club

When: July 9, August 13, September 10, 2-3 p.m. Other times announced in “Silent Book Club!” Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library Facebook group.

Where: Mount Storm Park, 700 Lafayette Ave, Clifton.

When: July 13, 6-8 p.m., returns on the second Wednesday of each month.

Where: The Cincinnati Graduate, 151 Goodman Drive, Corryville.