As I mentioned in my What I’m Reading post a few days ago, I was able to attend my first Buffalo Reading Invasion last week! Buffalo may have famously harsh winters, but our summers are pretty glorious, with more sunny days than any other major city in the Northeast. And we like to celebrate our warm, sunny days by spending as much time outdoors as possible. We also happen to be a fairly literary city; Buffalo is home to great indie bookstores and hosts world-renowned authors. I should ALSO mention that Buffalo is known as The City of Good Neighbors. And when you throw avid readers into a tight community with gorgeous summers, you get reading invasions.
One evening a month, from June through August, readers gather in a large public space and quietly read together for an hour. It’s just as glorious as it sounds.
I attended the final reading invasion of the year last Monday, and I’m kicking myself for missing the first two! I arrived at Symphony Circle at 7pm to find a few dozen readers scattered on the lawn outside the picturesque Kleinhans Music Hall. Some sprawled on blankets, and others formed little clusters with lawn chairs. There were middle aged-couples, young families, twenty-somethings, and even a few groups that looked to be high school students. And we all just sat quietly, absorbed by our books for an hour.
I can’t even describe how happy it made my soul to see all of these people who made a point of gathering in a park on a Monday evening for the sole purpose or reading books. It was such a beautiful expression of community — and how rare and delightful is it to attend an event at which no mingling is required?