Smile Politely

Let’s try a silent bookclub

A book with a green cover and a pink octopus sit on a glass topped and bamboo table with a glass of white wine next to it. There is a glass paneled French door to the outside in the background.
Louise Knight-Gibson

Allerton Park and Retreat Center is well known for its events. They have Holiday GLOW in the winter, peonies in the spring, various artists in residence, and an ever-changing calendar of activities. When I saw that they were having a silent bookclub, I immediately put it into my calendar. I love to read and I’ve seen plenty of silent bookclubs on social media but had yet to try one out. 

Looking into a solarium there is a wall of glass doors outside and people sitting on couches reading books.
Louise Knight-Gibson

When I arrived there were only about five other people. We sat in the Solarium, introduced ourselves, and talked a little bit about the book we brought to read. The genres varied from fantasy to mystery to mythology. We spent a few extra minutes exchanging book recommendations and then everyone broke off and found a spot to read. The cash bar was open, so I grabbed a glass of wine and sat in one of the rocking chairs. 

A hotel desk with a white notecard directing silent book club readers to the solarium and figure drawing participants to the library.
Louise Knight-Gibson

What struck me was that even though people came to read in silence and were all lost in the different worlds of their own books, everyone pretty much stuck to one room, sitting near each other. Even alone, we all craved a bit of togetherness. It made for a very enjoyable three hours and if you get a chance, I highly recommend it! 

A book with a green cover and a pink octopus sit on a glass topped and bamboo table. There is a matching chair and couch in the background.
Louise Knight-Gibson
A room with glass paneled doors leading outside. The room is full of bamboo tables and chairs with white cushions. In the back of the room is a bar and someone reading a book.
Louise Knight-Gibson
A close up shot of an open book with a lamp and two people reading in the background.
Louise Knight-Gibson
Looking past a white wood paneled wall and wooden door into a library where a person is sitting in a chair and reading.
Louise Knight-Gibson
A brown woman with dark hair and tortoise shell glasses is taking a selfie. She is holding a green book with a pink octopus on the cover. She is wearing a green dress and denim shirt and carrying a white bag. There is a gray brick path and green bushes in the background.
Louise Knight-Gibson

Silent Book Club
Allerton Park and Retreat Center
515 Old Timber Road
June 3rd + 17th; July 1st + 15th; August 5th + 19th, 5 to 8 p.m.

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