A Party For Book Lovers, Introverts, And Geeks

photo courtesy of Silent Reading Party, Portland

You are not going to believe this.

If you’ve been looking for a way to find other rainforest minds, this may be your answer.

I’m not kidding.

A Silent Reading Party.

You heard me.

A fellow named Christopher Frizzelle, in Seattle, USA, created this event. People come together and read. No small talk. No chitchat. Just bring your book and read. Maybe have a glass of wine. Or coffee. Did I mention, no small talk?

What could be better than that?

“Every first Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m., the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel goes quiet and fills with people—crazy-haired, soft-spoken, inscrutable, dorky, NPRish, punk, white, black. The reading public. It fills right away, all these people who don’t know each other, and they sit very closely, sometimes three strangers to a couch. By 7:00 p.m., you can’t get a seat…”  Christopher Frizzelle

He goes on.

“…The insane thing about a party where you’re not supposed to make small talk is that it makes you want to make small talk. You almost can’t not do it. (But what a relief to not have to!)…” Christopher Frizzelle

And from the women who started a Silent Reading Party in Portland, Oregon, USA:

“…And there’s something special about the silence, too. We so rarely sit quietly with strangers. It’s restorative, almost church-like. It’s really beautiful to look around and see a room full of people who’ve made time in their lives to read together. It gives you faith in our species.” (Jeff O’Neal interview of Portland SRP on BookRiot)

Faith in our species.

What could be better than that?


To my bloggEEs: What do you think of this idea? Wouldn’t it be a safe, fun, cool way to find and be with other rainforest-minded souls? Let us know if you start one and how it goes. (And, if you’re an extravert, you’ll love it, too. Maybe you host a Not-So-Silent Reading Party.)

Thank you to Pamela Price for inspiring this post.


Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

31 responses to “A Party For Book Lovers, Introverts, And Geeks”

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  3. Judith Planas Aguilar Avatar
    Judith Planas Aguilar

    At school I was called nerdy which I didn’t really mind because the name was to me..inconsequential. What mattered to me then was the content of the interaction, and whether we respected each other, treated each other well and with kindness. As a young girl I enjoyed thinking through problems and finding solutions, loved sitting still to run through ideas and unravel complicated thoughts so I could understand them.
    Right now I struggle through relationships because being able to think through the logic of the what ifs in my mind, and see these reasons, dimensions with clarity, people think that I am a show off or that I talk down at them, when deep down I am just simply expressing what I think in the best clear way I can with words that I painstakingly choose to define what goes on in my brain. The heart has the best intentions. I continue to be misunderstood.

    Your description of the rain forest mind is comforting, a balm to people who sometimes need just another someone who can think in multilayered, multicolored forms, all at the same time.

    Rainforest Mind–thank you for this name. In my mind I am there sitting with you wherever that may be, perusing one or two books, and ordering their reading sequence according to preference, or should it be need? Perhaps with warm black coffee to complete the picture.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      You’re most welcome to join me, Judith. I’ll put the coffee on. <3

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    […] complicated self. I’ve written about where to find them on other posts. Remember the silent reading party? There are ways to find others who live in the rain forest. You can also express your authenticity, […]

  5. frenchc1955 Avatar

    This is a wonderful idea!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I knew you’d like it, Charles!

  6. lilurazko Avatar

    Honestly it sounds weird or awkward, however I know if I went to one I would have a great time, so I would totally try it!

  7. Gabi Avatar

    This is a regular occurrence in my home. However, it is unscheduled. I love walking in the room and everyone (I have four daughters and a husband at home) is reading. The four year old sometimes is getting a book read to her or likes doing puzzles or drawing. I need to take a picture because I know someday they will all be out of the house and I will miss their bodies sitting next to me while we all read. We often discuss what everyone is reading. Getting a book recommendation from a nine year old is very lovely. For those who wonder how this happened, Reading to my kids almost every evening practically from birth let to a love of books for everyone. Favorite family trip is the library. 🙂 Maybe I will want to start a silent book club when all my girls are grown.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      This sounds lovely, Gabi. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Jessie Avatar

    I love this idea. My shnoo Max and I do this almost every weekend morning and it’s one of our favorite things to do. On weekends when we don’t get to do it, it’s sad for both of us. We’ve discussed before inviting a similarly minded friend or two over to join us for a reading session! That way, those who are lonely but also want to spend their time doing their thing can get rid of the loneliness but still do their thing. 🙂

    I have another idea for a party for people who hate small talk that I’ve been meaning to blog about. I think I will soon! 🙂

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh, another idea for a party for people who hate small talk. Sounds intriguing, Jessie!

  9. Jessica Avatar

    Um, Silent Book Clubs have existed since at least 2012 – there might be a group near you!


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thanks for the link, Jessica. What a discovery!

  10. Jessica Avatar

    Um, Silent Book Clubs have existed for over a year now – check facebook and there might be a group near you!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Have you been to one, Jessica? What did you think?

      1.  Avatar

        I haven’t been able to because my schedule always has conflicts 🙁 But I love the local space where it’s held and I really really want to go sometime!

    2. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

  11. Barbara Franken Avatar
    Barbara Franken

    Yes it’s a cool practice, allowing ourselves just to be, in fact it’s part of my MasterCreator Class where you experience being in your own world and that of others… it is a completely different experience being with others… it reminds you how important it is to honour one another. Much love barbara x

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thanks, Barbara. Appreciate hearing from you.

  12. Ro Avatar

    If I were well enough to do this I would…but I’d probably prefer that we get to move around. And I’d like occasional quiet talking to be allowed. When my husband and I first met, one of our favourite going-out activities was to visit the giant bookstore in the central city and sit in the comfy chairs near each other, reading. Lots of other people were sitting reading too. There was a literary buzz in the air – it was a nice feeling.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I suspect that the people who host one of these can set the rules as they wish. I read about one where there was talking at the end so the people who didn’t want to talk could leave.

      1. Ro Avatar

        That is a good idea

  13. Gb G Avatar
    Gb G

    I have been to something similar and really enjoyed it. We read silently for a time and afterwards we talked a little about the books we were reading. I do enjoy reading alone, but this can be a good way to mix things up every now and then.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Good to hear from someone who’s done this. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    2. Ro Avatar

      I like the option of talking a bit about the books at the end.

      1. Carina Avatar

        Yes, I also believe that having the chance to discuss books and perhaps make recommendations is what might attract me to such an event (with my headphones, lol). A party with no *small* talk sounds great, but a little bookish talk sounds perfect. 🙂 Such events are great for meeting kindred spirits, as long as talking is allowed. Perhaps during a coffee break?

  14. Jens Lyon Avatar
    Jens Lyon

    Reading? No small talk? Sounds like my kind of party!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Mine, too!

  15. Carina Avatar

    I’m going to be a killjoy for once, but just to express my *personal* preference. Other people might find this fun, but not me. When I read, I like to be alone. And reading at home is more comfortable than going to a place to read my own books. It’s a different thing if you are borrowing, but you could have that experience of reading with others at a library, with probably a wider variety of material to choose from.
    Still, in my experience of going to libraries, I usually find them too noisy. There’s always someone talking, even in whispers. I have misophonia and misokinesia, which means I typically fixate on (and become aggravated with) other people making those small noises and movements that stand out when there’s relative quiet. Funny story: that’s actually how I met my husband. One day when I was at college, I had to kill time between lessons. I went to a library nearby. I sat alone at a table, but there was a couple of elderly people chatting in the table next to me. In my irritation, I went to a table in the opposite side of the reading room, and there was a young man reading in silence. Then this guy begins to talk to me! I was annoyed at first because I wanted to study, but answered his questions anyway (he was too friendly and respectful not to), and when he left he asked for my number, and I decided I had nothing to lose. Now after eighteen years, he knows I don’t like interruptions when reading. 😉

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Not a killjoy, Carina. It’s good to have your opinion. I’m sure you’re not alone! Thank you for sharing. Cool way to meet a partner, eh?