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Naked Girls Reading: Will a Nude Book Club Encourage People to Read More Books?

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First Posted: Jan 27, 2014 07:04 PM EST
Naked Girls Reading
(Photo : Naked Girls Reading NYC)

Not all bookworms are created equal. In other words, they are not all nerdy -- a group of beautiful women get together and read various themed books, poems and novels aloud, completely in the nude as part of Naked Girls Reading.

The nude book club was founded in Chicago by burlesque artist Michelle L'amour and her partner Franky Vivid. Ever since its inception, Naked Girls Reading franchises have expanded out to different cities all around the world, including New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, Melbourne, Cape Town and London.

Although E-readers may be in for today's high-tech world, there is one rule that the spiced-up book club must follow: it is an electronic reader-free zone, which means that they can only read books in proper, paper form.

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"I love picking an interesting theme and researching literature that ties in with the theme. I usually have one or two performers in addition to myself. I pick the pieces of literature that we read as a group and each performer picks three pieces of literature to read from individually," said Sophia St. Villier, the head of the London branch. "It's great because this show pushes and inspires me to read some incredible literature -- it's so easy to just read articles online or trashy magazine. I love that we read proper books. Naked Girls Reading is an electronic reader-free zone."

"The show is around 2.5 hours long with two 10-minute breaks. People normally sip a glass of wine or a cocktail while they listen to the readings. I have a decadent show planned for the future where wine, chocolate and cognac is matched to stories," she continued. "My favorite themes so far have been Bedtime Stories, Banned Books, Fairy Tales and Art -- this show combined readings and life drawing."

Villier then talked about what kind of audience show up to the Naked Girl Reading evenings. "The audience is made up of couples, groups of friends and a few people who come by themselves," she said. "We have audience members that come to each show -- they must love the literature, as they've already seen us naked! With burlesque shows, the audience is roughly 70 percent women, 30 percent men. For Naked Girls Reading, it's around 50 percent women and 50 percent men."

"The most common comment I hear from audience members is that after the first 10 minutes, they forget we are naked and get lost in the story. People love being read to and many haven't experienced that since childhood," she added. "It's a fun show and discussions often occur with the audience between readings. During our Banned Books show, we asked the audience to guess why each book had been banned -- our audience could not believe that 'James and the Giant Peach' was banned due to sexual inferences and references to drugs!"

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