I am so friggin jealous I don't live in Seattle right now
Can't make tonight, but I'm ever so in next time. Love the idea.
Please, someone from Oakland want to start up a similar thing! Anyone?
I thought this was a great idea, and was looking forward to going-- until I thought it through and realized I'd be an outcast because I like it when people come up and ask me what I'm reading in bars. But since that seems to be the great no no that inspired this otherwise attractive venture, I think I'll stay home and read, where the drinks are cheaper. And I'm guaranteed that no one will bother me.

I don't get the point here.
If this wasn't Magnetic Fields night, I'd be so in. Next time!
Yeah, I love that bar at the Sorrento. Gorgeous. BTW, I am known to read at bars and your observations are correct. It's especially cool when an attractive woman comes up and says "What are you reading?" Great icebreaker.
I always read in bars. When people give me shit about it, I tell them to fuck off. The problem is more often the blaring TVs and other noise--but once that's blocked out by powers of concentration and the second beer, life is good.
Whoops! Chris, I meant to address you not Paul.
I love the fireside room at the Sorrento. It's really nice and calming inside and this is a great idea. I do however agree with 4. I don't go out so that people will strike up conversation about my book but I am always happy to discuss it with someone. If you just engage the person you can find out quickly if they actually have something to say or if they are just trying to talk to you. Either way if you engage them a tiny bit and then dismiss them it is 500% more effective.
I'd check it out if I were within driving distance. Does bring to mind a lot of old-time New Yorker men's-club cartoon captions—"Harrison has fallen into the aspidistra again" and so on.
That's so funny--I just wrote about the Sorrento for a travel guide and suggested curling up with an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel in this room. Thank you for promoting reading (and drinking).
Great idea.

4 - you don't get it, 'cause you're one of the annoying types that was mentioned in both exhibits.

This is quite easy to do in a country where you don't know the language. Just sit there, keep reading, keep drinking, and ignore whatever is said to you.
This is a great use for the space, fallow since the downturn started sucking the life out of luxury hotels. The local-Republicans-made-good who own it as a hobby, one of whom is to be Elliott Bay's new landlord (who for that matter owns much of the Stranger's famous two-block radius), are wise to cooperate.
Uh, 12, you don't get it- because I'm not the one to do the asking, I'm the one sitting there reading.

Anyways, rethinking it again, I realize, duh, so that's the answer to meeting new people! Take my book to bars. People will chat me up, according to the evidence presented here.
Upstairs at the Old Pequliar in Ballard used to have a reading room, too, if I remember right.
Are you going to known meet-markets? I go to a restaurant/bar and read all the time and rarely have anyone interrupt me, and have never had anyone give me shit for it. I wouldn't go to a sports bar to read, it just isn't the right atmosphere. Maybe it is the places you're picking?

I did bring knitting to a bar once, THAT was a great conversation starter and people were looking at me like I was a freak, it was funny. I always regretted not getting more into knitting...
What a wholly awesome idea! I am so there! (although, yeah, not tonight -- but on the 10th, I'm totes coming to the book wallow!)

Yessss!!! Thank you! I will bring my book and be there.
what a fantastic idea. I am all about it.. I hate to ask the politically uncorrect question du jour but is there parking nearby? that is usually the deciding factor for my attending a SlogHappy, parking.. which means I never go to any in Capitol Hill
i am from planet kruton, and y'all are some wierd-ass monkeys.

That Kathleen Wilson column is one of my very most favorite ultimate Stranger classics of all time.

I also like this idea a lot and have been wanting to visit the Sorrento forever. Still, though, I think that the closing statement is obviously refutable.
Yeah, I read in bars all the time. No-one's ever said anything to me about it.
Cha Cha and Purr? No wonder you guys are getting approached - I'd never go to either one of those bars to read.

Elysian, Faire, Stumbling Monk (if you can deal with the lighting), Captain Black's, Bleu and the Hop Vine all seem like safer choices.

Personally, I just read in coffee shops.
Great idea, and it begs the question: how do you pair a drink with a book? I am just imagining going to the bartender and saying, "I'm reading a dark swedish murder mystery, what would pair best with that?"
I bring my Kindle to the bar after work. People don't seem to mind.
While living in Nicaragua, one late afternoon I swung by a gringo bar because it was the only place in a 300 mile radius I could get nachos. Armed with a book, I happily munched away on my nachos and minded my own business until another gringo - a retired cop from Chicago who was all about the underage pussy - got so rude and loud that I felt culturally obliged to ask him to keep his voice down.

"Who comes to a bar to read?" he slurred. "People who know how," came another gringo's reply. Drunky cop settled his tab and left, shouting at me from the street the worst epithet he could apparently come up with on short notice: "I'll bet you're a (and he paused to spit this foul word out) Democrat!"
Thank you for organizing this!
I like this idea and I've never been to the Sorrento but wow that looks amazing! I already have plans tonight (for once) but I'll look forward to the March 10th evening. (The street I grew up on is Sorrento Ave, so I've always been fond of the hotel even though I've never been in it.)
#19 there is valet at the hotel + a bunch of on-street parking at that time. (though magnetic fields folks may eat up the street spaces...)
When I bring a book to the bar to read I get pestered, but when I read The Strsnger, no bothers me. Go figure.
Yes! I love reading in public and exhibit A and B are totally true and funny. :)
@26 Great comeback! I wouldn't have been able to suppress the laughter.
Great idea, Chris.

Love the idea of this being an ongoing thing. Can't make this (the first) one, but hope to make it to the next one.

Azoy fil biker...azoy veynik tzayt. (auf Yiddish)

So many little time. (in English)
@24: A nice martini goes with virtually anything, but for your Swedish murder mystery, you might want to have the bartender make a cocktail with a little aquavit. AND BLOOD.
Great idea! I can't make it tonight, but will be there in the future.
LOVE this idea. Wish I could make it this month, but as usual, I have rehearsal. Maybe next month.
I actually stradle the fence on this issue. On the one hand being interrupted in the middle of reading in a public place could lead to meeting someone interesting (if they are interrupting because they are legitimately interested in what you're reading), on the other hand there are those who assume that reading is just a front (the pity example) and that's just annoying (as are those who assume you think you're better than them).

I think this event, though, sounds like a lot of fun.

When I read about things like this (and Slog Happy), it always makes me sad that I am constantly having to prioritize my love of sleep over my love of other things. I work too late (until 8:00PM), and too far north/east of the city (Bothell) for this. By the time I got there the event would be almost over.

Don't you wish there were something like this on the weekend or starting at 8:30PM?
I love this idea. :D
It's free? Thanks, Christopher - I hate it when bars charge me to read a book.

Kidding aside, the bar at the Alexis hotel (Library Bistro, 1st and Madison) is excellent for reading. They have reading lamps right on the bar. No one gives you shit there, though people will likely struck up a conversation with you, so if you expect solitude despite being, you know, in a bar, this is not your place.


I've been taking my netbook to restaurants because I can read the screen in the dark.

No one seems to mind.

I don't drink or smoke, but I do eat and I'm single, so it's hard to find something to do outside late at night.

I like the Comfy Chair approach, but I wish there were like "milk bars" or Starbucks open until like 2am...
This sounds great! I'm with @1 - I wish I lived in Seattle tonight!
Thanks for the sweet flashback to Kathleen Wilson. People seem to feel comfortable reading here. As a bartender, I would probably intervene if some jackass started harassing people reading, just for fun.
@24: Kopparberg pear cider, of course.

I read in bars all the time, and nobody bothers me. Of course, I go to straight venues, and I have a penis. So there's that.
I kept thinking about my ideal night spot.

I would be sort of like a Night Mall for Adults that would contain:

1) Starbucks open until 2am with maybe live music, but not dark or dingy. Enough to see and read.

2) A 24 hour fitness to work out for while.

3) A Cheesecake Factory but not all dark like they make it after 8 or 9 -- full lights on. No bar, just food.

4) All night shopping places for clothes, electronics, goods.

5) Movies, an Acme bowl and coin game section.

Basically it would be my life but with closing time at 2am instead of 9pm.
I found this post at 7pm, 30 minutes after I had decided to quit playing computer games for good. I'm a onetime avid reader and scrabble player who's life was taken over by mmorpgs. By half past seven I had showered and was walking to the sorrento with a paperback in my back pocket. What happened there is pretty predictable: I got drunk and did some reading. The happy hour food was forgettable, the room wasi cold, and this book is a bit boring, but somehow I have this extraordinary feeling of optimism inside me.... what else can you ask for? Thank you chris for posting this, and the same to the other organizers.... and no jokes about the timeliness of my shower please.
How come none of you people know that this place is actually called The Hunt Club?!?!?! It's right there on their website and on their advertising and their building.
The hunt club is upstairs. This is the fireside room.
I so would have loved to do this. But I work on Wednesday nights, darn it.
I've read in bars for years and no one's said anything to me. Of course, they rarely say anything to me when I'm not reading either.
Hey, that was really fun! My best friend and I came and it tickled us both no end to walk in and say to the concierge "we're here to read." They were so sweet about it, and it was fun to see all the readers. Would definitely do this again. Thanks for organizing, Christopher!
I had a great time. It was cool to look around the room and see everyone reading. The Fireside Room was mostly great -- very comfy chairs, perfectly adequate food and drinks, nice waitstaff, but slooooow service.

I'll be there next time!
I'm going to try and make this when I can (sometimes have band practices on Wednesdays), but I love this idea! I also read in bars all the time. I've never gotten any flak for it, and can't really understand why other people feel so bothered by it. An ex once told me that seeing a boy reading at a bar actually made him more attractive to her, and she'd be more likely to approach him.

I don't even know if I believe it. There are claims that people are actually sitting in certain bars reading, but I don't see the pictures to prove it and in this case, seeing is believing.
I am so disappointed with the lack of reading culture that in an attempt to collect the last of us true bookworms out in the world I finally had to give in and create an online reading group:

I still cannot believe it.

Now I want to graduate from mere online-hood and start some sort of Saturday morning breakfast reading club or something.
@45, 50, 51 -- Thanks for coming and giving your feedback here. I had a great time too, and we'll keep doing it. Maybe they'll staff up for the next one and turn off the A/C. (Weird to sit next to a fireplace and be cold, huh?) We're going to do it every other Wednesday through March, so the next one's March 10. Put it on your calendar and bring a friend and maybe we can convince the Sorrento to do this indefinitely. The couple people who were there on dates were soooo cute.

@46--No, it's not the Hunt Club; the Fireside Room is on the ground-floor, too, but it's a different room.
All comments have been earnestly delivered to the Hotel. Thank you Christopher, readers, the hotel, the chairs, the less than warm fireplace, for making our first little experimental reading party a success.
New Haven has the lovely Owl Shop on College street that sort of accomplishes the read/ comfy chairs/ bar trifecta. Then again, it's Yale and it seems that darkly appointed rooms chock full of leather, wood, old books and scotch seems to be the norm rather than the exception. Luckily, the Owl is also a cigar humidor, so should you feel like indulging in a robusto along with your readings feel free. Having had this accessible to me all through grad school I don't understand why such places are so rare. It seems natural to be able to quietly enjoy a drink, a novel and company all at the same time, without resorting to a book party at home.
Oddly, I've never felt a keen need for this. I read in public frequently, and am undisturbed 99% of the time. Certainly no one's ever given me a problem about it. Comfy chairs would be nice, I suppose.
Dear Reading with Sea,

I am totally in favor of a Saturday morning breakfast reading club. I'm adding your blog to my RSS feed in the hopes that such a thing materializes.

Great idea! Like #4, I don't mind at all when people ask what I'm reading, but it's annoying when they can't "read the room" and either use that question as a pretext to hit on you or to start going into long stories about themselves that involve TMI and have nothing to do with books, and they basically don't know when to let you get back to reading.

And then you either have to listen to them out of politeness or say, "Sorry, I'm trying to read," which always makes you feel like kind of a jerk when you were just sitting there minding your own business to begin with. And then you can't concentrate on your book anymore because you're busy feeling like a jerk...

This place sounds great for neurotic people like myself I guess is what I'm getting at.
61 seem fantastically nerdy. Very intrigued by your blog, and as a self-proclaimed and taught pretentious opera buff and Washington, DC nerd, I like the "self-study" section. Any other D.C. readers out there know of good bars in the city for a reading hang out? I am finding myself too reclusive at home lately and cafes dont stay open late enough...
This is nice! Good synergy, Chris.

Slow service is a deliberate kindness to students.

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