Warm drinks, snacks and silently reading while surrounded by friendly faces is every introvert bookworm’s dream. This dream has come true at Dixie State University.
St. George now has a chapter of the internationally recognized Silent Book Club and its events are being hosted at DSU. It all started with an NPR article on the subject.
“Many of our librarians and staff enjoy NPR and it came up during lunch one day how we wished there was a book club on campus,” Circulation Supervisor Eva Sanchez said. “The model of having a low-expectation book club without an assigned book attracted us as busy employees and we figured it would also be enjoyable for the busy college student.”
The club’s first meeting was on Oct. 23 and hosted roughly 25 people. Participants could read anything they wanted and choose to either socialize and give book recommendations or continue silently reading. The library even had a cart of books to pick from if participants didn’t have books with them. Drinks and snacks were also provided.
“I was reading the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal,” Library Paraprofessional Ellen Bonadurer said. “Not the politics and finance sections – the arts, science and social sections. I love to learn what new things are happening in the world.”
Cadence Summers, a senior English major from West Valley City, said she read poems from Sherman Alexie’s “First Indian on the Moon” and one of her textbooks.
“It’s nice to get out without having to worry too much about the show business of socializing,” Summers said. “I think I first heard about this event at work over the summer when it was just an idea and I thought it sounded so fun because it’s non-conventional.”
Bonadurer said the goal is to create a relaxed, friendly and inviting environment for readers.
Sanchez said: “I helped set up and I thought it was a great turnout. I met new people and was able to relax and unwind with my friends. I think it was a success, but I’d like to see more people come try it out.”
Sanchez said she also would’ve liked to see more than just a 15 minute conversation before the one hour of silent reading, and she wants to see people make more connections in the future.
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“The Silent Book Club has over 70 chapters around the world including Pakistan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, London, Portland, Chicago, New York City, Denver and now St. George,” Bonadurer said. “I hope others will come and see if this is something they would enjoy.”
Anyone can create a chapter of the Silent Book Club by selecting “Start a Chapter” on the bottom of the page at https://silentbook.club/. The next Silent Book Club event for the St. George chapter is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. in the Collaborative Lounge on the fourth floor of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons.