Put down your phone, close your laptop and talk to people. Okay, not right this second—right now you should finish reading this post, but beginning October 6, one wifi-free “bookbar” is challenging us all to actually connect with one another. Using words. And eye contact.
Kibbitznest Books, Brews & Blarney is a wifi-free zone, as owners Annie and Lewis Kostiner focus on creating a space where people really talk to one another, face to face. Excessive use of smartphones will be discouraged (minus tagging the space on Instagram) and laptops must be kept in their cases or out of sight. Instead of refreshing Facebook while you’re there, the owners hope you’ll browse the books (both used and new), maybe do a little shopping, hang out, play games and chat with other guests over snacks like Chicago-style hot dogs, cheese or ice cream, along with beer, wine and slow-brewed coffee.
“It’s time to step back in time and take notice of what the potential negative impact will be on our society if we choose face-to-face social interaction less and less,” Annie Kostiner said in a press release.
You can try out real human interaction yourself during Kibbitznest’s grand opening at 2212 North Clybourn Avenue from 5:30–8pm on Thursday, October 6. The excitement kicks off with a book drive, so feel free to bring along any donations of used liberal arts books.
Profits from the bookbar will benefit the nonprofit Kibbitznest, to emphasize appreciation of the liberal arts by working with colleges, museums, artists and other nonprofits.
Photographs: Matt Kosterman
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