Open Bar Draws Hundreds to Tumblr Reading

Blockbuster attendance at last Friday’s event, Tumblr Reads: Internet Writers IRL at SoHo’s Housing Works bookstore, indicated the IRL power of online communities, or at least the power of free booze.

What seemed like the entire New York Tumblr community flooded the space to hear stories from Tumblr-famous writers including Emily Gould, Julie Klausner, and Choire Sicha. At the 6:30 start time, a massive line of rumpled young New Yorkers formed outside the store’s entrance, and the venue reached its 300-person capacity shortly before Tumblr founder David Karp thanked everyone for coming and the readings got underway.

More photos, more recap after the jump.


As anyone who’s read a Tumblr might expect, discussions of love, alienation, and sex played a major role in the proceedings. Julie Klausner, author of dating memoir I Don’t Care About Your Band, kicked things off with a dramatic reenactment of a her Feb. 9 appearance on CNN’s “Joy Behar Show.” Former Gawker editor and current The Awl contributor Emily Gould read from her forthcoming book, And the Heart Says Whatever. The Awl editor Choire Sicha read a mashup of Julia Allison’s “The Do’s and Don’ts of Texting,” and Amy Steele’s “Brian Schofer the Emotionless Engineer.” Foster Kamer, currently at BlackBook and Gawker and soon to join the Village Voice, regaled the audience with tales of his own swollen testicles.

Also reading were Deadspin founding editor Will Leitch, improv actor Halle Kiefer, Marie Claire Web editor Diana Vilibert, Coming and Crying coauthors Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O’Connell, New York Magazine blogger Edith Zimmerman, novelist Matthew Gallaway, and Tumblr bookswapper Bailey Kennedy.

This is what happens when you announce there’s free Brooklyn Lager on the Internet.

Tumblr founder David Karp thanked the crowd for coming, then sat on the floor in the front row the whole night.

Julie Klausner, Emily Gould, Bex Schwartz, and Will Leitch staged a dramatic reenactment of Klausner’s appearance on the “Joy Behar Show.”

Was Choire Sicha making fun of the audience by reading a selection from Julia Allison’s oeuvre? Probably.