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Published: April 27, 2015

books-to-readIt’s a known fact that reading expands your horizons, and book clubs take that to a higher level through discussions and different viewpoints, contributing to your knowledge and appreciation of the world around you.

Are you an older adult considering joining a local book club?

Below are a few reasons you should take the leap!

Discover the Benefits of Book Clubs for Seniors

  • Book clubs offer opportunities for socializing and meeting new people from all walks of life who share your love of reading.
  • Your comfort level may be a specific genre, and a book club can encourage you to try books that you normally wouldn’t consider. In doing so, you may find that you enjoy different types of books more than you would have imagined.
  • Reading groups are a great way to expand your knowledge.  Discussing books helps reinforce what you have learned and enables you to retain information better. The intellectual conversation you have at a book club can also positively impact your brain. Book clubs can delve into deep discussions about emotional, spiritual and philosophical themes explored in literature. This is a good way to regularly exercise your brain.
  • Through books, you can travel and experience other cultures, as well as learn from book club members of different backgrounds.
  • One of the best lessons you can learn from books is something that teaches you more about yourself. Your response to each new book is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world around you.

Improve Your Health Through Increased Social Interactions

The social interaction of a book club can be especially beneficial to older adults, who are vulnerable to becoming isolated as they age. Research shows that being more socially connected to others can help improve a senior's health and overall well-being

Social connections can help prevent or delay:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Depression and anxiety

Social connections can also help:

  • Improve sleep, well-being and quality of life
  • Improve your mental health
  • Promote physical activity and healthy living
  • Prevent death from chronic diseases

Get a Glimpse of Kendal at Oberlin’s New Yorker Club

Kendal at Oberlin's resident New Yorker Club has been meeting to discuss articles of interest in The New Yorker. Several of the residents have been reading the magazine since they were teenagers – the first issue of the magazine was published in 1925.

The group only meets monthly, so there is no way to get to all the material in the weekly magazine. Residents go around the table mentioning an article they enjoyed or found disturbing or enlightening. 

Sometimes a funny or confusing cartoon is pointed out, and rarely does poetry or fiction come up. Lee Hefner loves to follow Spots, a series of drawings, subtly related, that are scattered throughout the magazine. “Sometimes when I’m finished with a magazine, I cut them out,” she says, adding, “Some of them are so clever.”

French philosopher Rene Descarte said, “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” Good books can spark conversations today with your peers. Try joining a book club to see what benefits you'll enjoy.  

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Molly Kavanaugh 2020 - 180x180In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.

About Kendal at Oberlin: Kendal is a nonprofit life plan community serving older adults in northeast Ohio. Located about one mile from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and about a 40-minute drive from downtown Cleveland, Kendal offers a vibrant resident-led lifestyle with access to music, art and lifelong learning.