Why I'll Never be Invited to a Reading Party

I've recently found yet another reason I'll never be a part of the hip reading scene: Reading Parties. Reading parties are the latest craze sweeping the literati scene in well-read cities like Seattle and New York (God bless 'em). In Seattle, the fad runs more towards Silent Reading Parties such as the one at The Fireside Room that meets the first Wednesday of each month. Standing room only, folks. Apparently, this is a silent event. No talking, just reading. Admittedly, this baffles me. Unless The Fireside Room is the only place in the world you can find some peace and quiet to read your damn book, why in the hell would one trek to a hotel bar to read a book? I remain mystified.

Never to be outdone by the provincial outpost of Seattle, New York has upped the reading party ante. Topless Reading Parties are springing up (see what I did there?) around the Big Apple. Stop laughing. It's true. It's very cutting edge. And you and I certainly weren't invited (there are small favors in life). Topless Reading Parties operate on the same principle -- show up, read a book -- sans shirt. 

There is a literary connection here, I'm sure of it. 

Perhaps you only get an invitation if you can figure it out.

But let's get back - just for a moment - to the entire idea of a reading party. The act of reading, in my backwoods world, is still a solitary activity. And if I'm going to be completely honest, that is precisely why I love it so much. On the whole, I prefer the characters I meet in books to the people I interact with on a daily basis - you know, family, work, PTA bitches, etc. This is why I carry my book around with me. Stick my nose in a book and I effectively cut off the outside world. See ya, bitches. 

A book party implies interacting with others. If we are interacting with others and the topic is books, isn't that called a BOOK CLUB? I could be wrong, just throwing that out there.

And I really can't get off the topic of the silent book parties. I've already acknowledged that this might be a refuge for those who have no where quiet to go and read on the first Wednesday of every month in Seattle. I hesitate to point out that the Seattle Public Library, located not too far from The Fireside Room, is open daily until 10 pm, although to be fair, they don't serve adult beverages. Still....there are probably at least a hundred different places within the city limits of Seattle that are both quiet and serve libations where one could comfortably sit down and read a book. And I'm willing to be you could even do it on days other than the first Wednesday of the each month. Shocker, I know.

Sigh. No wonder I don't get invitations to these things. I can't shut up.


  1. My fave line from Tik Tok: Now, the party don't start 'til I walk in...

    I like to say that about reading parties too. I get invited to a lot of challenges but not parties per se. I think I have been invited to some publishing events but not reading parties. I think they are fairly new. I don't like people much either so the idea of hanging out with a bunch of people reading is sort of stupid, if you ask me. And topless? That would be the LAST time I'd be invited anywhere.

  2. I've never heard of such a thing - although to be fair, North Carolina isn't exactly the hippest place in the country :). But I totally agree with you - what's the point? Besides, I can read and drink at home just fine (and if necessary stumble up to bed...)

  3. If they have parties like that around here, I've never been invited either. I'm with you, I'd rather read at home in my jammies.

  4. I'm scratching my head over this one. Weirdness. I'm the same way everywhere I go too, Michele. Nose in book means DO NOT TALK TO ME! lol

  5. Yeah, I heard about this trend and it seems ... weird. On the other hand if this is what it takes to get some people to read, then I guess it's good. But i don't want reading to be cool just because hipsters are doing it. Quite frankly, reading has been cool since way before hipsters. Every night my daughter and I crawl into bed and snuggle together and read. That's my reading party. And for the record, I get nasty if she talks too much.

  6. I'm okay with silent reading parties. Topless reading parties though? I can't see the connection. At all. Was it created by a perv who thought it would be a great way to see a bunch of boobs? Doesn't the creator know that most huge readers are introverts and would be the last people to go somewhere to let everything on top hang out? If I want to read topless, at least let me do it in the privacy of my own home and hopefully get a little fun time with my husband out of it. Just SO weird.

  7. The big thing for me is the whole getting dressed up and presentable for a party (and that topless thing is so not an option). I'm more of a homebody and it just makes more sense to read in silence in my home rather than going to the trouble of going to a party where I'm not even going to talk to anyone. Plus I could also see me getting the inappropriately-timed giggles like I do in church sometimes.


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