A screen grab of the very fun Silent Reading Party!
A screen grab of the very fun Silent Reading Party!

Love to read? Missing your friends and book clubs due to the coronavirus quarantine? Then have we got the online event for you! It's called the "SILENT READING PARTY" which takes the extremely popular Seattle event, where people gather at bars to silently read their favorite books joined by piano accompaniment, and takes it online every week for the entire world to enjoy!

The last online Silent Reading Party was a huge success and was visited by hundreds of people on Zoom—including well-known authors and celebs! Check out the above picture to see what it looks like. (And why, yes! That is former SNL star Julia Sweeney in the middle box on the left side, along with some piano accompaniment from Paul Matthew Moore in the upper left corner.)

Guys, if you love to read, then you will really enjoy the Silent Reading Party, TONIGHT (WED MAY 6 at 6 PM). GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

I bet you have more questions—and the originator of the Silent Reading Party, Christopher Frizzelle from our sister paper, The Stranger, has answers!

What kind of books do people read?
Whatever they want. Novels, nonfiction, mysteries, histories, poetry, dystopian sci-fi, Us magazine, children's books, Moby-Dick...

Wait—Us magazine?
Sure! Whatever you want. Does Us magazine still exist? The point is, it doesn't matter what you read. The point is to set aside time for reading and then actually do it.

Does anyone read Kindles?
Yes, there are two in every crowd.

Did you say children's books?
Yes, the reading party has always been all-ages.

What kind of music does Paul play?
His own very mellow arrangements of Erik Satie, Radiohead, Duke Ellington...

Do some people end up just listening to the music and staring into space?
Yes. Every time Paul plays Erik Satie, I take a little break from whatever I'm reading, tilt my head back, and melt into my chair. Some people also feel inspired to write at this party, and get out their notebooks, and that is encouraged as well.

What if I need to do chores or make dinner—can I do that instead of reading?
Yes. Paul's piano playing would be nonpareil background music for those activities. During the first Zoom party, one attendee living out on Orcas Island with his partner had his mother over for dinner, and we all got a view of their candle-lit dinner with a view of water, and they got the reading party music as their ambiance, which is brilliant.

Isn't it weird not talking?
I think it's pretty fun to go to a party where small talk is not allowed. Not being allowed to make small talk weirdly makes you want to make small talk! Since you're going to be on mute, feel free to talk to whoever's in quarantine with you if you want—we won't be able to hear it.

So how does the party work virtually? How do I get in?
After you buy a ticket, you will get login information emailed to you shortly before the party starts. At the appointed time, you will be let into a waiting room, and from there you will be given admittance to a big Zoom group with people all around the world.

Will there be any kind of talking or introductory remarks?
Yes, I will say a few words about 10 minutes in, once we're pretty sure that everyone who wants to be at the party has arrived, but that's it.

What kind of drinks and snacks should one make at home to go with this party?
Whatever you want. If it's raining, my spread usually includes whiskey, cheese, figs, and chocolate. If it's sunny, I drink rose and eat almonds.

How long does the party last?
Two hours. But you will be fully in control of your experience and if you don't feel like reading for two hours, you can drop out at any time.

Who else should I tell about this party?
Anyone you know who knows how to read. My dream is to get the whole world to set aside two hours a week to read. Many people intend to set aside time for reading, but never get around to it. A little healthy peer pressure in the form of seeing people all around the world do this together could be good motivation.

Do I have to be reading the whole time?
Of course not. Sometimes I just can't get into my book, no matter how hard I try, and on those weeks I just stare into space, listening to Paul's music. It's like meditation or something.

Okay, how do I get in again?
Tickets are here, available on a sliding scale. If you can only afford $5, pay $5. If you can afford $20, pay $20. Ticket buyers get an email the day of the party with login information.

What if I have a question you didn't answer?
You can shoot us an email: silentreading@thestranger.com.