My local alternative newspaper invented a really cool event that has since gone on to be replicated in other cities: the silent reading party. I had been meaning to go to it for years. Now I am at a point in my life where I’m ready to get out and meet people. Well, almost ready. So an event where I was allowed to be quiet and read was my perfect baby step.
It takes place in a pretty fancy hotel bar with a fireplace and nice furniture. A waiter presented me with a menu on a slip of paper and a pen so I could order drinks and appetizers without speaking. The room was full and there was a lot of talking until the magic moment when the reading began — then the piano started making soft music and everyone fell silent and focused on their books. The light was a little low for optimum reading — I spotted a few people who brought book lights and others who were using ereaders — but the elegant surroundings made it worthwhile.
Not everyone stayed for the full two hours (this is where I felt my years of training– I’m an Olympic-level reader). Maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to talk to someone.