It happens in the lobby of the Sorrento Hotel, seen here in 1909.
It happens in the lobby of the Sorrento Hotel, seen here in 1909. Courtesy of Sorrento Hotel

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means the silent-reading party is tonight!!

You know what it's like at the reading party, right? You've heard this radio segment about the silent-reading party, right?

The short version is that we gather once a month in a beautiful room and do something not even the president does: read.

You bring whatever you feel like reading and read silently, to yourself, while Paul Matthew Moore plays piano and waiters bring you things. He plays from 6 to 8 pm, although the special reading-party menu lasts until 9 pm.

The silent-reading party started in Seattle, and it has since expanded to other cities, including Brooklyn (The New Yorker called it "a literary social gathering for people who don’t like readings") and San Francisco (Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "A sustained silence in a room full of people is a magical thing, and provides a sort of cozy companionship that is sometimes missing when one is reading alone with a drink in one’s hand").

Poets & Writers just published a piece about the reading party as "a new literary trend gain[ing] traction around the country."

(They must have forgotten about Scotland.)

Anyway, we started it, and we do it best. Here's where the reading party happens. It's all ages, and it's free.