MALBA to Hold New Edition of Silent Reading Party Today

There will be free drinks and live music for everyone who brings their book to MALBA today.

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Reading a new book every month is probably one of your New Year’s resolutions, but maybe you scramble over the bookshelf each time you try to reach a book because you cannot escape those tempting Internet distractions. Well, going to Disconnect Project’s Spring Reading Party that will take place at the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (also known as the MALBA) today might help you mark a superb new start before the year ends.

The idea of a “silent party” was first brought to Buenos Aires by Jeb Koogler and Andres Wind, who were inspired by a similar concept that started in Seattle and then expanded to San Francisco and New York. The premise was simple: a bunch of people gathering together in coffee shops, bars, museums, and public places, to share their quiet but collective passion for reading.

Considering that Argentines use their phones between 220 and 250 times per day, the Koogler-Wind duo created Disconnect, a project that aims to combat in  our addiction to technology and social media in a very modest way, giving a twist to the original Silent Reading Parties.

Silent Reading Party
Image credit: Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires/ Guyot/Mendoza.

Koogler describes Silent Reading Parties as a straightforward and basic idea. Nonetheless, he hears every time that people cannot abandon their phones for more than a few hours, which distances them from carrying out other activities such as reading alone or with one’s kids.

In fact, nine out of ten students have suffered from what experts call the Phantom Vibration Syndrome, which is a modern-day manifestation in which people mistake subtle vibrations coming from their muscles or their clothes with a notification on their phones. In contrast, Disconnect’s Silent Reading Parties aim to provide people with a collective friendly environment of a group setting that would help them concentrate on one single activity: reading.

“There is a cohesiveness generated out of the fact that people are doing a similar activity, with a similar goal, which is reading and being focused on the reading and not on their phones. There’s a sense of community, and there’s a little bit of social pressure. You don’t want to be the black sheep who’s there checking Instagram at this event,” Jeb Koogler told The Bubble.

Buenos Aires has been very receptive to Silent Reading Parties. Disconnect has already organized more than six editions in the city, and MALBA is their partner in crime, giving them a cuddle cup place at the museum twice a year.

At the same time, new contributors have joined the project in Córdoba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia. Koogler said Disconnect would like to work alongside local coffee shops and communities to expand the presence of Silent Reading Parties across the city.   

“We want to support people doing similar events with whatever resources we have ” Koogler told the bubble.

Save the date for the Spring Reading Party! 

More than 300 people have already confirmed their attendance for today’s event, and everyone is invited. For those who love to drink coffee and wine while immersing themselves into the magical worlds of literature, there will be free drinks from sponsors. Guests only need to bring their paper books, while MALBA Literatura and Disconnect will make sure you have a good time. And don’t forget to turn off your phone for a while!

19:00 | Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires | (Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 3415) | Free | More info