Reading books is often a solitary activity, but Owensboro Silent Book Club sets out to bring book readers together in a space dedicated to reading their favorite books.
Local President Virginia Hardesty formed the group after learning about the national network spread to other communities. She said that she wanted to create a group that allows book readers to come together, without the pressures of a traditional book club.
For example, Hardesty is currently reading Sarah Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series — which she highly recommends while other members have their book of choice.
“So everybody brings whatever book they want. So there’s no pressure on having to have a book finished at a certain time, or if you don’t like a book then you don’t have to keep reading it. It’s a very free-for-all type thing,” Hardesty said.
She said that oftentimes with traditional book clubs, some members feel pressured to convene over the same book, compare thoughts and other social aspects, where she hoped to make this club a “introvert-friendly” place for book readers.
“Which is great, but maybe you didn’t like the book and another person did. There’s some hostility there sometimes,” Hardesty said.
Even though they aren’t required to, Hardesty said that some members will read the same book and discuss what they learned from the book, so there are still aspects of a traditional book club if members would like there to be.
The club changes their location, and can be followed on their Facebook group. Regardless of where they go, they always have the same structure. A regular meet has about 20 people coming to the session even though the group has over 100 members, Hardesty said.
The first 30 minutes is grabbing a bite to eat and talking with other members and shortly after that, the conversation ends and members begin reading. From there, Hardesty says people are free to read as long or as short as they wish and leave on their own terms.
“Some people will come and read and then they get up and leave and they just kind of nod to me. They’re comfortable, they feel safe. They’re not wanting to be social, but they still want to be around people. So that’s been cool to see,” Hardesty said.
Since the group has been formed, she says she has seen several members from the group enjoy themselves, even though the conversation isn’t as formal as they would be in other book clubs.