How to Start a Senior Book Club

Summer is the perfect time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. If you’re looking for a great reason to gather with friends this summer, consider starting a senior book club. Not only is reading books together a great way to start conversations, reading is great for your cognitive health and can even help you get better sleep. If you’re ready to get social this summer with a senior book club of your own, here’s a quick guide to getting started.

Think about the logistics.

Book clubs come in many different shapes and sizes. Think about your ideal group. How many members does it have? How often do you meet? Thinking about these factors in advance can help you decide who to invite to join your group. A large group allows you to connect with a greater number of people, but smaller groups give everyone more time to speak. Decide what size and type of group works best for you.

Have a welcome meeting.

Once you’ve invited friends to join your club, it’s time to host your welcome meeting! It’s a good idea to have a get-to-know-you meeting so everyone in the club can feel more comfortable before you dive into your first book. This is a great time to decide on a theme for the club and even to come up with a fun book club name. Mystery Mondays? Poetry Potluck? The possibilities are endless.

Choose your first book.

There are several ways to select books for your senior book club. One option is to have everyone nominate a book and vote on the top three. Another is to choose a theme, such as bestsellers or a particular genre, and work your way through a list of those. A few of the most popular book club genres include historical fiction, classics, biographies and mysteries.

If you find yourself short on ideas, bookstores and libraries can be great resources. Many have pre-selected book club lists, and some libraries even allow you to check-out a large number of copies of your chosen book through book club programs.

It’s also helpful to think about available formats for your book of choice. Does it come in large print? Can book club members listen to it as an audiobook? Make sure the book you choose is easily accessible to everyone in your group.

Get reading!

Now that your senior book club members have gotten to know each other, it’s time to dive into your first book. Many book clubs start with a fun ice-breaker question to start the meeting. Snacks aren’t required, but can be a fun touch. Consider having a snack sign-up sheet for each meeting.

Once you’re ready to start the conversation, start with some discussion questions. Many books have them included in the back. If your book doesn’t come with pre-written discussion questions, are a few ideas from Book Riot to get you started:

  • What did you like best about this book?
  • What did you like least about this book?
  • Share a favorite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out?
  • What do you think of the book’s title? How does it relate to the book’s contents? What other title might you choose?

Sometimes the conversation will stray away from the original question, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The questions are just meant to serve as a starting point for whatever everyone wants to discuss. At the end of the day, it’s not about having the perfect book, the perfect setting and the perfect snacks. The most important part of your senior book club is creating a place for people to gather together, share stories and form lasting friendships.

At Advent Christian Village, we strive to create a sense of community so our members can form meaningful connections. Our facilities are designed to provide spaces for our residents to connect, learn new things and enjoy each other’s company. To learn more about Advent Christian Village, give us a call at 1-888-606-3035, or contact us today to schedule a tour. We’d love to show you everything our community has to offer!

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