An Introvert’s Paradise: Silent Book Club Thrives in Pittsburgh

Are you an introverted reader? Well, there’s a place for you at the Silent Book Club in Pittsburgh! Read on for more on this introvert’s paradise.

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There are only three rules of the Silent Book Club: no assigned reading, no homework, and no small talk required. This concept has freshened the idea of a traditional book club, especially for those who are more introverted. Members of this book club are just required to show up at the designated meeting spot with a current read, and enjoy their book! Sharing their thoughts is optional.

Silent Book Club began in the United Kingdom and spread to 59 other countries. There are 500 chapters, with 4 in Pittsburgh. Two best friends, Teresa Torlone and Amanda Palombo, decided together to create their own chapter in a neighborhood of Pittsburgh in 2023. This group feeds their love of reading but also connects their friendship.

Silent Book Club Goes Viral

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IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / NINA NERY

When recruiting members through social media, the two discovered that Pittsburgh’s original chapter had disbanded during COVID, so they followed previous members on Instagram. Their group was getting 20-30 members each meeting until a video of their club went viral on TikTok.

Palombo said in a statement:

We had a lot of growth come from that video. We went from meetups with 20 or so people to 60 people regularly showing up.”

Via Triblive

Finding A New Location for the Book Club

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Because of this rapid growth, Torlone and Palombo had to find a new location for their meetings that could fit everybody. They eventually found Aslin Beer Company, who donated their upstairs space to the group. This has made it much easier for new members to find the community.

Torlone said of the space:

We were super fortunate that (the club) blew up. It became a little community that we both love and exist in together.”

via Triblive

A Sense of Community

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A current member, Carolyn Ingham, reflects on the sense of community it brings her:

If I see someone reading Sara J. Maas, I’ll stop and say ‘Oh my gosh, that book is so good.’ I just like talking about it with people and it’s a good way to get to know people and get friendly. When I looked it up, it seemed like a safe, welcoming, friendly environment.”

Via Triblive

There are plenty of members that have come forward to praise this Pittsburgh chapter of Silent Book Club. It seems that it has truly improved their bookish lifestyle and brings the reading community together. Some members have even started their own chapters to accommodate different schedules for those who can’t make Torlone and Palombo’s meetings.

The Silent Book Club Expands Further

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IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / NINA NERY

Stevie Hosler and Heather Weleski of other Pittsburgh neighborhoods started their own Pittsburgh chapters since they couldn’t accommodate time for Torlone and Palombo’s group. They have followed in their footsteps and began recruiting new members through social media.

Weleski said in a statement about her chapter:

This has been such a positive experience. I’ve truly made an amazing group of friends by leading this chapter. We are actually planning a book reading retreat in April with each other.”

Via Triblive

It seems the Silent Book Club has been nothing but a success in Pittsburgh and continues to grow. If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, be sure to join one of the many chapters that have been growing in the neighborhood!


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