LifeStream at Sun City offers a variety of services and amenities, including an on-site library and activities. You can enhance your experience in your Sun City, Arizona, senior living community by starting your own book club. It's a great way to share your love of reading, have deep conversations and get to know your neighbors. Follow this guide to start, manage and enjoy your senior book club.
Having a general theme or purpose for your book club can help you plan activities, find common interests and choose books everyone enjoys. You might choose a specific type of books, such as nonfiction, or you could organize a faith-based book club where all your reading materials have a faith element. A book club could focus on self-improvement. Whatever you choose, keep it general enough to find members who are interested and reading materials that fit the criteria.
Reaching out to your neighbors and friends can help you recruit your first book club members. Let them know about the purpose or theme of the group so they can decide if it's a good fit. Set an initial meeting where those founding members can share their input and help shape the club. Keeping this first meeting small can help you make decisions faster. After that, you might encourage members to invite more people to have a larger discussion group.
Decide the general details of how and when you'll meet. This includes details such as:
Monthly meetings are common. That gives everyone plenty of time to read the book and prepare for the discussions. If you're retired and have more free time on your hands, you might meet more frequently. Get input from the initial members to see what they prefer.
You want the club to be enjoyable, and setting some ground rules can help. This might include being respectful with discussions. You might provide guidance on how to respectfully disagree or share a differing viewpoint to keep the discussion positive. This can keep the group discussions productive and help everyone feel welcome to share their opinions.
Now that you know what theme your book club has and how often you'll meet, you can create a prospective reading list. Your founding members can be a part of this by suggesting titles that would work well. You don't have to read everything that's on this list, but it's a good reference when you're choosing your next books. Assign titles to the first few meetings to give members a chance to secure copies early.
When choosing your reading material, make sure it's accessible to the group. Check with the public library to see if they have multiple copies so members don't have to buy every book you read. Some members might need large print or audiobook versions to read and enjoy the book properly. Make sure the titles you choose are available in various formats.
If your numbers are a little low, you might reach beyond your initial membership. Posting on your social media pages could help you find additional members. You might post a flyer in your assisted living community to reach people who could be interested. Invite current members to find their own ways to promote the group and increase participation.
You might be the one who starts the book club, but you don't have to take on all the responsibilities yourself. Let a new person take charge each time you meet. That person can choose the book, plan the activities, communicate with the group and lead the discussion. Rotating the planning responsibilities lets everyone have ownership in the group, and it gives you a chance to sit back and enjoy the experience.
A standard format is to read the books independently and discuss them as a group at book club meetings. If you want to get more enjoyment out of the group, consider additional activities. You might plan the meetings to occur over the lunchtime period and have a potluck meal while you discuss.
You can also relate the activities to the book. Maybe you read a book that takes place in Phoenix, so you hold your book club meeting in the city that month. You could plan a cooking or craft activity that someone relates to the book. These activities add a fun twist and enhance the experience.
To get the most out of the club, you might need to make some adjustments as you go along. Ask for feedback on the titles you're choosing and the activities you plan. Encourage your members, new and old, to make suggestions they think would improve the book club. If there's something you don't enjoy about the club, make changes that could make it more pleasant for everyone.