Spellbinding spaces in Delhi's Silent Book Club – The New Indian Express

The original Silent Book Club, founded by Guinevere de la Mare and Laura Gluhanich, began in San Francisco. Later, it established multiple chapters across the globe.
Published: 14th November 2021 08:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th November 2021 02:24 PM   |  A+A-
A previous meeting of The Silent Book Club Delhi at Sunder Nursery.
“There is something meditative about reading. Sitting quietly with a book, without any distractions, is almost spiritual for me,” said Anupam Choudhury (44) from Sarita Vihar, a regular at the Delhi-NCR chapter of the Silent Book Club.
Many people often mention that, because of the fast-paced lives they lead, it is difficult to find the time to read., Those who would earlier devour books, are now easily distracted by social media thus being unable to reading uninterruptedly.

Seeing a dearth of readers and hoping to create awareness around the need to read, Rachna Kalra (51) from Gurugram began the Delhi-NCR Chapter of the Silent Book Club in 2019. “I read about this concept and it appealed to me. As I grow older, I would rather sit and enjoy a book I love than skim through book recommendations,” said Kalra.
The original club, founded by Guinevere de la Mare and Laura Gluhanich, began in San Francisco. Later, the club established multiple chapters across the globe.
One should always take time out of their busy schedule to have an hour of dedicated reading time, shared Kalra, “Reading opens up different worlds, not to mention how it increases one’s vocabulary, imagination, and creativity.”
With the zeal to build a community of like-minded readers, the members of this club met at Sidecar in GK2 for the first time. “The best part about the club is that we don’t have a theme. We create an environment where you can just come and read. Anyone can bring a book – an e-book, even a comic – and read it, as long as they have their phones kept aside to avoid distraction. No one is forced to read anything they do not like. I don’t like horror and I have the liberty to not read a horror novel ever and still be part of this community,” she revealed.
Meeting at places that provide a peaceful ambience for reading, the club’s favourite winter meeting space is the Capital’s Sunder Nursery. “The small amphitheatre at the back provides a secluded and tranquil place to sit and get immersed in a book,” Kalra pointed out.
Since COVID put a stop to the monthly offline sit-downs, the need to have an hour of uninterrupted reading pushed the members to look at virtual options.  During the two stages of lockdowns, they had a number of virtual meetings. “Since it was online, we had the opportunity to meet people who were not based in Delhi. Two girls from Darjeeling had become regulars,” he said.
Now that COVID-related restrictions have relaxed in the city, the Silent Book Club was back again with their offline meeting at the Serenity Amphitheatre in Sunder Nursery, which we attended on Saturday evening.
Amid the greenery and periodic twitter of mynas and chirp of squirrels, the members stay put in peaceful silence, reading their respective books. Although a relatively small event, Kalra said she was happy even if only two people came to read with her. 
The club plans to have their next meeting on December 18 at Sunder Nursery.
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