Posted on Wednesday, 21ˢᵗ September, 2022

Reading and discussing books is a nourishing and socially engaging activity enjoyed all over the world. Most people who enjoy reading have been part of a book club at some point in their lives.

Starting a book club for your residents will engage residents in an activity which is:

  • Simple to organise
  • Easy to attend
  • Flexible enough to accommodate people’s needs
  • Can be held online if needed during a lockdown
  • Can be incorporated into the main meal or mid-meal occasion.

To help inspire your budding book club, watch Book Club

Starting a book club for your residents

The wonderful thing about book clubs is you only need two or three people who are passionate readers to get started; the group will grow quickly as word spreads.

There are two main styles of book clubs.

The first is where everyone reads the same book simultaneously and discusses it at the book club. Many authors and publishers will create book club discussion lists to help guide the conversation. These are easy to find on the internet.
The second style is when everybody brings a book they have read and ‘introduces’ the book to the group. People often then lend books to each other, thus expanding the range of reading material everyone has access to.

The second style of book club is often easier as it doesn’t require everyone to purchase the same book. It also accommodates a wide range of interests; not everyone likes reading novels, some enjoy biographies or other non-fiction books.

If your facility has a library, residents can use the books from there as well.

Book clubs are for everyone

Books and reading are accessible to everyone, thanks to technology. Digital devices such as iPads and Kindles mean people are able to set the brightness of the screen and the size of the font to suit their needs. And for those who don’t enjoy reading, but want to join in, there are audiobooks readily available through platforms like Audible.

You can also have people read favourite parts of their book to the group to help everyone engage and join in.

Book clubs are for everyone

When to meet

Whichever style you and your residents decide to use, it is best to set a day each month to meet and turn it into an occasion.
Hold your book club meeting in a place where everyone can sit comfortably, hear each other speak clearly, and with space for cups of tea and plates of food.

Book clubs usually meet monthly. This gives everyone time to read a full book but is recent enough, so people stay motivated - and not forget what they read about!

It is also a good idea to have someone who ‘runs’ the book club and keeps everything on track.

You can even run your book club online which means family and friends are also able to join in, helping to keep everyone connected and engaged with their wider social group.

Make a meal of it

Combining the book club with a meal or a mid-meal means you are able to create an event that is physically, socially and mentally nourishing. 

High tea

You can combine your monthly book club with a High Tea for an afternoon activity.

Create a finger-food spread with a combination of savoury and sweet bite-sized food, people can easily snack on while participating.

Holding the book club during lunch is also a way to incorporate food and make it feel more like an occasion. 

Pies and quiches are easy to eat as a nourishing mid-meal or with a salad at lunch. 

Sandwiches are also a versatile option and if the weather is good, you can take your book club al fresco to enjoy the warm sun and fresh air. 

Because a book club is a gathering of people united by a passion for reading, it can be a great way to introduce new residents, help people engage socially - by making your book club a meal occasion as well, it also helps people enjoy the meal as part of the event.

Happy reading

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