It was a shared love of books that inspired Mariely Vélez Pérez and Andrea Carolina Delgado Villarrubia to start a Silent Book Club in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. The pair met as students at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and became close friends. Both were passionate about reading and writing. Mariely created the We Read blog in 2012, and Andrea Carolina began co-blogging with her about books in 2020. While they enjoyed building an online community, they also wanted to hang out with other book lovers.
Since launching SBC West Side, Puerto Rico in August 2023, the friends have been able to expand their circle of bibliophiles—and massively grow their TBR. We asked Mariely what made Silent Book Club appealing to readers in Puerto Rico.
"There’s something unique about Silent Book Club meetups! Everyone is always looking forward to spending time together, sharing book recommendations, and just having fun while reading. As readers, we need those kinds of spaces, and we love connecting with fellow book lovers."
"In Puerto Rico we read, and we read a lot. We have a writers community that is very active. But we also have a lot of readers that are always looking for book events. A few years ago, we didn’t even have many bookstores. And now, that’s changing! There are many bookstores and we absolutely love that.
"In SBC there’s no pressure of reading one book in particular, and this book club is perfect for introverts. We got really excited when another chapter started in Puerto Rico. And we would love for there to be more! Us in the west area, the other in the metro area, and it would be so cool to have other chapters in the south area, east area, and everywhere around Puerto Rico."
What's the last great book you read?
Iveliz Explains It All, by Andrea Beatriz Arango
What book do you recommend most?
I'm always recommending The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera.