In this week's maelstrom of literary goings-on (see Feature, "The Future is Books," July 16), a quiet idea is coming to fruition. Carissa Wodehouse has conceived of a new way of meeting the special needs of the creative class: a bar night devoted to quiet activities like reading, writing, and other non-social projects. She's calling it "Library Hours."
"This summer I'm reading David Foster Wallace's hefty book Infinite Jest as part of the Infinite Summer online reading club [infinitesummer.org], and there just aren't enough hours in the day or on weekends to get through the suggested 75 pages a week," Wodehouse explains. "And like any Portlander I have about a dozen personal projects to do after work. It's possible to sit in most bars until around 8 pm, but then the lights go down and the music goes up. Coffee shops are always packed on weekends, but they close early and don't serve booze. Why not combine the best of both? In this town of writers and readers and freelancers and artists, why isn't there a space where people can bring work out into the night?"
On Thursday, July 16, the Blue Monk will turn down the music and turn up the lights for the inaugural Library Hours (for future locations, see libraryhours.wordpress.com). "I'll be there with Infinite Jest to read and my laptop to work on a story," Wodehouse says. "Other people have said they'll be drawing, playing chess, blogging after Ignite Portland, knitting, lots of stuff."