– Story time is no longer just for kids.

The Winona Public Library held its first adult story time session this month, a new program that invites adults to bring a lunch, relax and listen to short stories for a half-hour.

Librarian Samantha TerBeest said the event is “the new thing” among bigger libraries in the country. She wanted to try a similar program in this southeastern Minnesota city.

“I thought it would be fun to do here,” she said. “It gives [adults] something to do on their lunch break to relax, listen to some stories, maybe laugh a bit.”

“It’s a new take on story hour,” she said.

To cater to the adult audience, the stories are short fiction from classic and contemporary authors.

For the inaugural gathering, TerBeest read stories from B.J. Novak’s “One More Thing,” a book she chose for its humor.

Rose Cyert and Milton Topness attended the session together and brought sandwiches to eat while they listened.

Topness said that he is not a book reader but that he enjoys hearing stories read out loud.

“It was very nice,” he said. “I don’t know the last time I’ve been to the library.”

Cyert said she thought she would give the story session a try after seeing it advertised.

“I think it’s a fun idea. A lot of people get an hour for lunch and what are they gonna do during that time?” she said. “This is a place to come and gather, relax and get enrichment.”

TerBeest said she will continue the program through December and see how successful it is. She hopes to eventually have guest readers and story themes for each month.

In today’s fast-paced world, it can be hard to find ways to slow down and indulge in simple pleasures, like hearing a story read aloud.

Story time is a place to relax and forget about all of the things you have to do later, TerBeest said.

“It’s kind of like yoga for the brain.”