Silent Book Club trend growing popular in Atlanta

Readers are taking over Atlanta! You might have seen hundreds of people gathering at local coffee shops in complete silence, reading different books. That's because of an organization called Atlanta Silent Book Club.

Even in a bustling brewery, the only sound you'll hear is from the turning of pages during meet-ups for Atlanta's Silent Book Club.

"Silent Book Club is what we love to call an introvert's happy hour. It really provides a space for readers and people who are interested in reading to come out and gather together but read whatever they would like to read," Sophia Griesenauer said.

She restarted the Atlanta chapter after coming across a viral post about a silent book club in a different city. Three times a month, readers can come together at different locations throughout the city to enjoy a good book, silence, and company.

"The only rule here during Silent Book Club is during our one hour of silent reading, it is actually silent. That's it. Outside of that, if you want to talk right up to the minute that starts, please feel free. If you want to come in, sit down, and read the entire time that we are here, you're more than welcome to," she said.

After a silent reading hour, people can sit and chat, share books, or offer recommendations.

The first Silent Book Club started back in 2012 in San Francisco. Atlanta had a chapter that went inactive until Griesenhauer brought it back in December 2023.

"And we started with about 22 people coming to the first meet-up and have grown since then," she said.

Now the chapter organizer says the meetings have an average of 150 people at a time. A previous meeting at Ladybird on the BeltLine had more than 250 readers taking over the restaurant.

Griesenhauer looks for businesses big enough to house the bookworms, while also highlighting different neighborhoods and businesses.

"I try to move around throughout the city because when I set this up, I really wanted to not just build a community of readers. I wanted us to reinvest in the City of Atlanta," she said.

At the Silent Book Club, they don't judge a book by its cover, the only requirement is a love for reading and community.

"It's been so fun to see this growth explosion and just the amount of interest people have in getting together, it's just been so wonderful," she said.

There are three meet-ups every month that you do not need to RSVP for. The Silent Book Club also hosts some smaller meet-ups, including author readings and even workouts. They do request an RSVP. You can find all the information on the Instagram page @AtlSilentBookClub.

There are other chapters of Silent Book Clubs across the metro Atlanta area. You can look for one in your city as well.