Silent Book Club a novel idea
Saturday, 15th February, 2020
By Annette Northey
Silent Book Clubs are taking the world by storm, and now Broken Hill has been swept up in the movement.
The club met last Thursday night for their second session since the launch in January, after City Library staff member Fallon Spangler decided to start one up in response to patrons who had expressed a keen interest in getting a book club going.
Fallon did some research and discovered this whole new world of Silent Book Clubs (SBC) and thought they would give it a run, Jacqui Smith said.
“There’s nothing to lose. People will either come or they won’t,” she said.
SBCs differ from traditional book clubs in that members can bring along any book they like and sit in silence to read. The idea is to provide a guilt-free way of blocking out time from your busy schedule to do nothing but read.
The Broken Hill chapter provides light nibbles, and members relax together in the comfy lounge corner of the library with their own book, or you can grab one off the shelves if you like.
A little bell is rung to start the hour of reading in silence and then rung again when the time is up.
Readers can then, if they like, share with the group something about the book they’ve been reading, but this is not compulsory. You can just listen in or leave, it’s up to you.
There is no pressure, the idea is just for people to take some time out for themselves that they wouldn’t normally do, library staff member Fiona said.
Just to add some fun to the experience, a door prize is awarded before the end of the session each month.
Jacqui said the 5.30pm start was chosen because several library patrons said they preferred to pop in for the SBC on their way home from work, rather than come out later.
“The library is lovely and cool right now, and in winter it will be lovely and warm,” she said.
“There will be hot chocolate on offer in winter time, which will be very nice.”
The idea of SBCs was born when Guinevere de la Mare, who co-founded the organisation with Laura Gluhanich in 2012, said they were sitting in a bar in San Francisco, reading together, because they were annoyed by the assigned reading of a demanding book club.
Now, there are over 70 chapters around the world, including the UK, USA, the United Arab Emirates, Bermuda, Canada, New Zealand, Africa and Europe. There are four SBCs in Australia - Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Melbourne and now Broken Hill.
The Broken Hill chapter of Silent Book Club is held on the second Thursday of each month at 5.30pm at the City Library in Blende Street, with the next session on March 12.
More information can be found at http://bit.ly/bdt-sbc or contact the library on 8080 3460.