Some of the members of the Troy Silent Book Club read the same book, “Iron Flame,” by  Rebecca Yarros, during their November meeting.

Some of the members of the Troy Silent Book Club read the same book, “Iron Flame,” by Rebecca Yarros, during their November meeting.

Photo provided by Dawne Webber

Troy introverts share love of reading through Silent Book Club

By: Sarah Wright | Troy Times | Published May 8, 2024


TROY — Troy’s chapter of the Silent Book Club encourages booklovers to come together to share their literary interests and enjoy some quiet time to read.

The SBC is a community of readers and introverts, with more than 700 chapters in 50 countries around the world, that is generally led by local volunteers.

“At Silent Book Club, there’s no assigned reading,” explains the website. All readers are welcome: ebooks, audiobooks, textbooks, comic books and more in a BYO book-format. The events are free and support local businesses.

Members may gather at bars, cafes, bookstores and libraries in their area, as well as online to read together.

While some book clubs may have pre-selected books that are read and discussed based on planned schedules, the SBC allows members to enjoy whatever books they’re currently reading, order food and drinks, and converse with other members at their own leisure.

“I’ve been in and am still part of traditional book clubs where the group picks a book to read and you all discuss it. And I’ve been introduced to some great books through that,” Marcie Swan, a member of the SBC Troy chapter, said in an email. “However, I read between 5-15 books a month and sometimes I want to just connect with other people who also enjoy the act of reading. If left to my own devices I tend to read a lot of the romance genre, but I also dabble in memoirs and contemporary fiction. I’ll give almost anything a chance.”

Swan found out about this club experience through TikTok and decided to search for a local chapter.

“What I love about SBC is that you get to talk to people about so many different books,” Swan said in an email. “If you get 15 people in a room all holding a different book, it’s going to spiral into talking about similar books or other recommendations. Maybe you see someone reading a book you read last year and you can talk about that, or you see someone reading a book on your shelf that you haven’t gotten to yet and they are loving it so much that you move it up on your list. SBC takes what can be a solitary activity and gives you a community.”

Many members also enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere that the club provides, including club member Marie-Christine Finn.

Finn is the sister-in-law of one of the club organizers, Dawne Webber, and has also been involved in other, more traditional book clubs before joining the SBC with her daughter.

“People who come to these events all share a love of reading so there is this strong connection, even without talking too much,” Finn said in an email. She stressed the fact that participating is free, making it an inexpensive and low-stress activity.

“At first I didn’t really see the point of reading silently with strangers but it is actually a very relaxing way to feel connected without having to put too much effort into it,” she said in an email.

For the Troy chapter, meetings run 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month. The meetings have around 30 minutes of introductions, club notes, and time to discuss the various books that members are reading at the start, which then leads to 60 minutes of silent reading and another 30 minutes of socializing towards the end of the session.

“We also have A Blind Date With a Book drawing at the end of every meeting, so people enter that when they arrive,” Webber said in an email. “When we had 20 people or less, we went around and introduced ourselves and told everyone what we were reading. In March we had 30 attendees so each table did their own intros to each other. We read for an hour … then draw a winner for the Blind Date With a Book. After that, you’re free to leave, but most people hang around and socialize again.”

The club also has a poster tracking what books club members are reading every month and encourages everyone to add their titles to it, which, at the end of the year, creates a list of all the books that the members have read during the year. Another event that SBC recently implemented was a white elephant book exchange during the holiday season.

“We have a solid core group, and the number of newcomers at every meeting has been increasing since September when we started out with about ten people,” Webber said in an email.

With the Troy club’s consistent growth, there have been some issues finding space to hold meetings.

“We’re growing so quickly it’s been hard to find a home,” Webber said in an email. “We were meeting at the lobby in the Troy Marriott, but outgrew that. Then we began meeting at Camp Ticonderoga, but now that golfing season is here, they can’t accommodate our large crowd. We were supposed to meet in the separate room in Shields in April, but they had a scheduling conflict at the last minute, so we didn’t meet in April. We’re scrambling to find a place to meet in May.”

There may be plans to meet at a park, as long as the weather is good, but nothing is confirmed at this time.

Club information and updates for meetings can be found on Instagram, Facebook or