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On the bright side... 

On the bright side... 
There's a LOT we could say about 2020, but we thought we'd wrap up the year on a positive note. With Silent Book Club chapters around the world shifting to online meetups during the pandemic, we've been able to make global connections that we never would have dreamed of when we started reading in a wine bar with a couple of friends in 2012. Continue reading

How to #Bookstagram Like a Boss

How to #Bookstagram Like a Boss

 

I love reading, but sometimes I want to zone out and just scroll through pretty pictures on Instagram. I love keeping up with my friends, hearting all the babies, and marveling at the world travelers in my feed.

Whenever I need a shot of inspiration, I browse through what's new in the #bookstagram community. I find it soothing to bask in the beauty of books, and I've discovered some amazing photographers there (@chloeferres, @obviousstate, and @booksugar are a few of my faves).

I wish I was as talented a photographer as I am a reader (I'm a master book devourer, y'all), but I won't let my amateur eye and beat-up iPhone 5 stop me from doing my part to share the #booklove. For me, the key to a great bookstagram post is the story behind the photo. Just like a good novel, it needs character, maybe some backstory, or even a plot twist. I mean, anyone can post a book stack with a Harry Potter bobblehead. I want to peer into the worlds of other readers, have them take me on an adventure through books.

The best bookstagrams are the ones that spark your imagination and make you want to know more. The ones that make you laugh out loud or cheer or think to yourself, Yes. THIS. You can find tons of articles out there about gaining followers. But I'll take a narrative over a hashtag strategy any day. 

Here are just a few of the stories behind @silentbookclub's recent posts. Hope you enjoy!

It's self-care Saturday! Turn off your screens and pick up a book. You'll feel so much better, promise. ❤️📚

A post shared by Silent Book Club (@silentbookclub) on

 

One of my all-time favorite shelf-talkers, and one of SBC's most-liked photos of all time. I wish I could take credit for the quote, but this gem is courtesy of the cheeky booksellers at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco.

 

Rainforest, coffee, book. #whereiread

A post shared by Silent Book Club (@silentbookclub) on

 

Last month, I went on vacation with my family to the Big Island of Hawaii. Our rental house in Volcano had an underground lava tube in the yard that you could peer into. As I was drinking my coffee and reading one morning, steam was coming out of the cave, which made for a pretty epic hashtag string: #whereIread #activevolcano. 

 

Just chilling under the chandeliers, reading books and listening to some Daft Punk muzak. AS YOU DO at #silentbookclub

A post shared by Silent Book Club (@silentbookclub) on

 

This is how we SBC in San Francisco. Sometimes there is a piano player in the hotel lounge, but this month there was ambient music... and it kind of jammed. I told my husband about the Daft Punk muzak when I got home, he went down a deep internet hole trying to find it. Sadly he did not succeed. Well played, Palace Hotel. Keep us coming back for more... 

 

 

I love doing activities while I hang out with friends. Maybe it stemmed from being a girl scout as a kid, but I'm a big fan of clubs. In addition to being the founder of Silent Book Club, I'm also a member of Ladies Drawing Night SF, a group that gets together once a month to draw (and drink and snack and socialize). This month's meeting coincided with an activist campaign I was working on with the American Library Association, so I experimented with some hand lettering and watercolor. Looking at it now, that book stack really could use a shadow. 

 

Exit through the bookstore... @thelastbookstorela

A post shared by Silent Book Club (@silentbookclub) on

 

I discovered The Last Bookstore on Instagram a couple years ago when my publishing friends started posting photos from there whenever they traveled to LA. I finally got to visit it myself earlier this year. I was only in LA for the day, and I made a pilgrimage stop on the way from the airport to my event. As I was browsing in the kids section, I realized that Christian Bale was standing about six feet to my left with his toddler. But only a moment earlier I had discovered an entire shelf of The Girls of Canby Hall, and I decided I was more interested in reliving middle school so I went back to my browsing. 

 

 

Unfortunately, that means you get to see this instead of a picture of Christian Bale. #sorrynotsorry

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Read it Forward

Read it Forward

We're super excited to be teaming up with Read it Forward, an online community for readers created by Crown Publishing Group. Read it Forward publishes essays, book recommendations, interviews with authors, and more.

We kicked off our partnership with a story about how Silent Book Club might save your life, and once a month, we'll be sharing reading recommendations in their What We're Reading newsletter. You can find our first batch of book recs here, or sign up on Read it Forward to get the next installment delivered to your inbox. 

P.S. While you're poking around the site, don't miss their Book Club Appetizer podcast. The Spotify playlist they created for this episode is fierce.

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How to host a Silent Book Club

How to host a Silent Book Club

Silent Book Club started with a couple of friends sitting at the bar of a little neighborhood bistro. We were both book lovers, and on that particular evening I was on a rant about book clubs. The pressure to finish the assigned reading. The discussion guides that read like essay questions from a high school English class. 

I read for pleasure. I love hanging out with friends who are book addicts like me, but, to quote Helen Ellis, I'm a grown-ass lady. I don't want to do homework. Wouldn't it be great, I mused, to have a book club where you could go to a bar with a book and a friend, order a glass of wine, and just read quietly? And with that, Silent Book Club was born.

On the last Monday of every month, we host meet ups in SF and NYC. But you don't have to live near an official chapter to join Silent Book Club. Everyone is welcome, and anyone can host a meet up. You just need a book, a bar, and a friend. Or, hey, maybe just a book, a cup of tea, and your PJs. Any time you carve out a quiet moment to read, you're following the tenets of Silent Book Club.

If you're interested in starting your own Silent Book Club chapter, we've gathered a few tips for you...

How to host Silent Book Club

How to host a Silent Book Club

1. Find a venue. We have found that the best bars for hosting SBC have a few things in common: they have couches or armchairs, which are more conducive to reading; they're not loud; and they have enough light to read. In San Francisco, we like the Palace Hotel lounge because it's not crowded on a Monday night and they don't mind if we take over a section. 

2. Choose a recurring night and time. Our main chapters in SF and NYC coordinate to host our meet ups on the last Monday of the month, but if another night works better for you that's totally fine. Mondays and Tuesdays are typically quieter in most bars.  

3. Invite a few friends. It doesn't have to be a big group. Three people reading books in a bar is already a revolution. We're all busy and it can be hard to commit to something every month, so don't worry if it's a small turnout. 

4. Send us your info. Once you've set your date and location, we can help you promote it on our social channels and in our newsletter. Drop us a line. If you'd rather stick to a small group of personal friends, that's awesome, too. Take a snap of what you're reading and tag it with #SilentBookClub to join the many members participating online.

 

That's it! Put down the phone, pick up a book, and read, wine, repeat. Now, shhh. I'm reading.

— guinevere

 


Psst, have you signed up for our newsletter? Get event invites and member perks each month. Pass it on! 

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