AntiquiTea House is brewing community through reading and casual conversation.
When we think of book clubs, we think about assigned novels and lengthy discussions. However, AntiquiTea House is offering a way to be a part of a book-related community with much less talking and no set reading schedule.
“Coffee shops are great places to read. I wanted to start a book club, but was looking for something that was not labor heavy on my end,” Traci Stead, owner of AntiquiTea House, says. Enter Silent Book Club. An international organization with hundreds of chapters worldwide, SBC began in 2012 and prioritizes community and inclusiveness with meetings involving shared silent reading time and no assigned readings. So when Stead came across the idea, she knew it would be a perfect event to host.
It took a bit of time for word to spread, but now has grown into something special. “We’ve been doing it for a couple of years now. At first it was just two or three people, but now it’s 15 or so,” Stead says. “A community has formed around it—I kind of know people and what they’ll be reading.”
Attending AntiquiTea’s Silent Book Club is truly as simple as showing up with something to read. Most often, the evening will proceed like this:
- When you arrive with your latest read in hand, you’ll want to stop by the counter and order a drink or snack to enjoy over the course of the evening.
- You’ll find a spot at the designated table to greet and chat with other club members as they filter in. The group is made up of a range of ages, backgrounds, and literary preferences that will keep conversation interesting and fun.
- When the meeting really starts, you’ll share a few words about the book you brought with you. Have a place to jot some things down. You will probably be leaving with more than a few book recommendations.
- Then, you’ll be dismissed to find a cozy spot around the shop to settle into and start reading at your own pace for the next hour.
- When the time is up, come back to the real world and settle back around the table for a zero-stakes discussion on what each person read before saying goodbye until next time.
AntiquiTea’s Silent Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6pm, and new readers are always welcome. For this month’s meeting—taking place on Tuesday, October 17—Stead shares that a book exchange will also take place. Simply bring along an additional book that you have already read and trade with someone else—it might just be your chosen read for next month!