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BRIEF: Silent reading time, but for adults

A new style of book club is taking over

The entrance of Ponderosa Beer and Books’ storefront on Roeder Avenue in Bellingham, Wash. on Dec. 8, 2023. The book club runs every second and fourth Monday of every month. // Photo by Logan Schreiber

Book clubs give a sense of community, but the pressure to finish a certain book by a specific time can make some wary of joining an organized book club.

Ponderosa Beer and Book’s Silent Book Club is the place for those who want to read with their peers, without worrying about timelines. 

“It’s fun to connect with other people who love reading, but it’s not so structured,” said Jessie Polin, who owns Ponderosa Beer and Books and runs the club. “There’s no pressure, everyone is reading their own book. It’s more organic.”

Polin hosts the club on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at their location on Roeder Avenue. All ages are welcome and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks are available.

The bi-weekly club is separated into two hour-long sections. The first hour is for quiet reading and the second is for discussion. In the second half, attendees can chat about their current books, get recommendations or simply talk about literature. 


Graphic of books over a pink background, with a quote that reads “There’s no pressure, everyone is reading their own book. It’s more organic,” said by Jessie Polin, owner of Ponderosa Beer and Books. // Graphic by Logan Schreiber

Andrea Lawson, a regular attendee at Silent Book Club, likes the sense of community. 

“It feels good to do something together as a group,” said Lawson. “With the silent book club, you get to do that without [everyone] reading the same book.” 

Meetings at Ponderosa Beer and Books are associated with the Silent Book Club organization. It is run by volunteers who devote their time to helping organize different chapters worldwide. They now have 500 chapters in 50 countries.

Logan Schreiber

Logan Schreiber (he/him) is a fourth-year student going into the PR Journalism program. He enjoys writing and music, hoping to do both for his career. You can reach him at

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