How to have a reading party

I recently had a little “reading party” which combined hanging out with friends, plus an hour of reading…..and it went off pretty well, so I thought I’d share how I threw it so YOU can throw one too!

If you enjoy hanging out with friends.
If you enjoy reading.

You can combine the two and throw a fun event.  It would be partially productive, and partially fun/social.

I wanted to see friends before the busy holiday season sucks everyone out of town, so I put a Facebook invite out to some friends in Austin.  Here was the description for the party I wrote (Many people told me this was the favorite event-invite description they’ve ever got)!

FACEBOOK INVITE TITLE:
Pajama Reading Party @ Nev’s

Hey all, it’s my first ever READING PARTY!

Put some comfy clothes on and come READ at my place on Tuesday Nov. 20th!
Bring a book…..or borrow one of mine for the evening.

Show up at 8pm and we’ll all socialize. At 9pm sharp it’ll be library time….so we’ll all read for an hour.

This is just a fun, casual event for all of us to hang out (and get some reading time in).

 

—DRESS CODE—
Whatever you want…but comfy clothes or pajamas would be best.

 

—SCHEDULE—
8pm till 9pm: We’ll all socialize and hang out like cool kids.

9pm till 10pm: I’ll be a library cop and hush everyone up. We’ll all read for an hour till 10pm.

10pm till 12am: Wherever the night goes.

Try your best to show up at 8pm so we have time to talk beforehand. 9pm – 10pm I’ll actually hush you up and make you read!

 

—ALREADY PROVIDED FOR YOU—
-Healthy snacks.
-Extra books if you don’t have.
-Pillows, blankets etc to lounge on.
-Maybe pull the guest bed into the living room for lounging.
-Night time calming tea, soda, booze, beer (for those who wanna do some buzzed reading) :-)

 

—ETIQUETTE—
-No laptops please. Just reading materials.
-Let’s actually read for a full hour from 9pm till 10pm.
-Get comfy as possible during reading time. Make friends, grab a spot on a chair, or lay on the floor, or snuggle up to
someone and getchyo READ on.

 

—GUESTS—
If you have guests, make sure they’re cool, and make sure you can vouch for them. No bummers please like the Seinfeld library cop!
http://youtu.be/D9tP9fI2zbE

 

—ADDRESS—
Neville’s apartment at AMLI Eastside (formerly called Robertson Hill Apartments).

This map should show pretty closely the exact location of my apartment unit:
[insert map link here]

 

—PARKING—
Anywhere on the street around the building is fine. If you need, call me and I can let you into the guest parking garage.

I think I have cool friends….and it’s fun when you all meet!

I’ll see you all on Tuesday for a nice evening together :-)

Book-wormingly,
-Neville Medhora
-713.301.1546

P.S. Try to show up close to 8pm and don’t forget a book.

P.P.S. At 9pm sharp till 10pm we’ll hush up and read for an hour. So come a bit earlier to get some reading time in!

 

This description covered everything perfectly, so everyone was on time and brought books.

I wanted to make sure everyone had enough space to comfily sprawl out…..but in my apartment I only have seating for a few people.  So I ended up bringing a queen sized bed from my guest room into the living room for extra seating!

Bed in living room - Book Reading party

6+ people could easily fit on it, and it turned out to be the most comfortable spot!

Everyone arrived close to 8pm as requested, and we all hung out and chatted.  Since it was random friends and not just a particular clique of friends I invited, they all got to meet each other.

At 9pm we all started reading.  I thought I’d have to be a total library cop to shut everyone up….but surprisingly everyone was cooperative and ready to read.

In the background I put some soft music (Pandora.com on the “Chill/Downtempo Radio”) ….and it played great music the whole time that wasn’t too distracting (aka doesn’t have many words).

It was really fun reading around friends.  It kept everyone focused.

Someone pulled out a laptop at one point, and like the party description said, I made them close it.  The clickity-clacking of the keyboard is distracting to people reading.  I’m glad I laid down the law as laptops would’ve ruined the mood a bit.

 

Here’s everyone showing off their books before the reading started:
Reading Party - Book peeps

 

Here’s a shot of everyone reading (there’s a few more people on the left who didn’t make the picture):
Book Reading Party - Everyone reading

 

That’s me laying down on the bed:

Reading Party - Everyone reading and lounging

 

I’m not one to cook for a party, so a few hours before I went to Whole Foods and picked up some snacks.  Pretty basic, but it worked great:

  • Water bottles (carbonated and non-carbonated).
  • Beer.
  • Tea.
  • Sliced fruit (melon, kiwi, strawberries).
  • Fresh guacamole & salsa + chips.
Snacks from Whole Foods
(on a side-note….checkout how neatly I placed my groceries on the conveyor belt thingy)!

 

Everyone was covered beverage-wise and the healthy snacks were delicious.

Overall this went off pretty well!

  • Everyone got some quality reading time in.
  • We all got to hang out on a lazy Tuesday.
  • Just a fun, social gathering.

Try it yourself with your friends :-)
-Nev