January is National Book Month, and the third week of January is National Book Week. Celebrate this month by picking up one of our favorite books for seniors or by joining a community book club!
Benefits of Joining a Book Club for Seniors
More than a reading group, book clubs provide a great opportunity for seniors to socialize, expand horizons, stay current on social events, and more. Learn more about the benefits of joining a senior book club and commit to joining one this month!
1. Make new friends
Book clubs are a great way for seniors to reach out and make new friends. Most book clubs meet monthly and are a great way to make friends who enjoy similar things – like reading. Book clubs fight social isolation and loneliness, immediately providing a group and a topic of conversation for that group. Social isolation has been associated with a higher risk of depression and even linked to an increased risk of dementia.
2. Gain new perspectives
Book clubs are a great way to gain other perspectives on the world. Not only do books help us learn about the world around us through the text itself, they facilitate conversation and discussion across generations and cultural lines. As books bring out thoughts and personal experiences of their readers, book clubs can be a great way to see the world through someone else’s viewpoint.
3. Get outside your comfort zone
Since most book clubs give participants a turn to choose a book, joining a book club is a great way to explore different genres, and maybe even discover a new favorite. Book clubs often have a wide range of books throughout the year ranging from non-fiction and mystery to historical fiction and romance. You may be surprised to learn which ones appeal to you in different seasons of life.
4. Learn in an informal environment
Classes and lectures can sometimes be an intimidating environment for seniors. Book clubs give seniors a great way to learn about current events, history, political science, and more in an informal setting where they can voice ideas freely and then discuss ideas and events without a formal setting – or a grade. Additionally, discussing books with others can reinforce ideas and events, helping readers to better retain information.
5. Improve and maintain communication skills
Book clubs are a great way for seniors to improve and maintain communication skills through aging. Because books draw out personal opinions, participants in a book club have to learn how to listen, discuss, and disagree without resorting to emotional arguments. Discussions encourage participants to be honest and tactful at the same time. Book clubs can also help seniors overcome a fear of public speaking as discussing books require speaking in front of a small group, expressing opinions, and summarizing ideas.
6. Encourage cultural awareness
Book clubs appeal to people from all walks of life. They can be found in the halls of high schools and in senior living apartments. Books call to all cultures, all races, and people of different socioeconomic status. Choosing to be an active participant in a book club can challenge the way we view the world, change our views on the world around us, and understand others in a new and profound way.
Have you joined a book club? What benefits have you seen from joining a book club? Share them with us in the comments below.