Library invites public to read in companionable silence

The Southborough Library is introducing a program for introverts who want to socialize. It’s a new book group that breaks all the traditional rules. 

  • Readers aren’t urged to talk about the book they read.
  • They don’t need to read the book in advance.
  • They don’t even need to choose the same book to read.

silent book group flyerBasically, you could refer to the group as a reading circle. The Silent Book group simply invites the public (adults and young adults) to gather to read in companionable silence:

Strangers or friends meet the last Thursday of every month at the library to share one another’s company. The group can read the same book together or drop in with your own pick. There is no expectation for a discussion.

The first meeting is scheduled for a week from tomorrow. 

The new program is inspired by other Silent Book Clubs around the country. The concept was covered by National Public Radio:

A Novel Concept: Silent Book Clubs Offer Introverts A Space To Socialize. . .

The concept is simple yet revolutionary: Members meet up at a bar, a library, a bookstore or any venue that will host them. Once the bell rings, silent reading time commences. After an hour, the bell rings again.

Other than that, there are no rules.

Liberated from the orthodoxy of traditional book clubs, participants can bring whatever they’d like to read and chat about anything, before and after the designated reading time. (read more)

At the Southborough Library, the current plan is to pick a suggested novel each month. For the first session, the featured selection is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. But readers are free to bring along their own book or pick one out from the Library’s collection. 

Patrons are invited to join the group on Thursday, February 27th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. That evening’s reading will take place in the Library’s downstairs Eaton Meeting Room. In future months, the group will meet on the main floor. (Note: On those occasions, the background often won’t be silent even if the readers are.)

If you have any questions, please email staff member Amy Townsley at

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