The Benefits of Book Clubs and How to Start One

Sunrise Senior Living  |  December 4, 2018
The Benefits of Book Clubs and How to Start One
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Reading is important at every age, including during retirement years. Here are some of the benefits of making reading part of your everyday life as you age:

  • Protects cognitive health: Reading is exercise for your brain. It gives the brain the workout it needs to protect memory, as well as maintain reasoning and analytical skills.
  • Promotes better sleep: Unwinding before bedtime is necessary for promoting better sleep. That means turning off the television and electronics. Enjoying a good book can help you relax and drift off to sleep.
  • Could help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s: Many Alzheimer’s researchers believe reading can help prevent or delay the development of the disease. They say reading and other mentally challenging activities build connections between brain cells. If an older adult does develop Alzheimer’s, these connections help the brain compensate for damage.

You can maximize the health benefits of reading by starting or joining a book club. Socializing with fellow book lovers can also help older adults avoid the health risks associated with isolation, such as high blood pressure and depression.

To help you start reading more, we are sharing a few tips on launching a book club.

Senior Readers: How to Start a Book Club during Retirement

  1. Think about who you would like to invite to be part of your club. Maybe you would like your book club to have a theme, such as biographies or travel books. Knowing this will help you figure out who might be a good fit for your club.
  2. Consider locations for your group to meet. Some libraries and senior centers allow groups to reserve rooms and hold meetings for free. Or, you might want to have members take turns hosting meetings at their home or senior living community. If you decide to meet in private homes, you’ll likely want to limit your group to six or eight members.
  3. Decide how often and when you would like to meet. Poll group members to see if they prefer daytime or evening gatherings. Some book clubs take the summer months off when people tend to be busier.
  4. Determine a book club reading list. A local bookstore can probably help you come up with some options for your group to vote on. It might help to plan three to six months ahead so members have time to locate and read the books.
  5. Set up some club rules, including who will be the moderator. Will the moderator be the same person, or will club members alternate? It also helps to have some guidelines that encourage everyone to speak and keep some people from dominating the conversation.
  6. Encourage the moderator to plan ahead. Some book publishers have talking points on their websites to make it easier for book clubs to keep the discussion going. The moderator can visit the site ahead of time and create a list of conversation starters.

Life Enrichment at Sunrise Senior Living

Book clubs are just one of the many activities that happen at Sunrise Senior Living communities every day. Visit our “Senior Activities” page to learn more about the eight Signature Programs that help residents Live With Purpose each day.

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