If you love reading, then you might just prolong your life by joining a book club and chatting about the texts you enjoy.
A study published in BMJ Open magazine found that those who joined a social membership group, such as a book club, reduced their risk of dying in the first few years of retirement.
Book clubs are sociable, set new challenges, prompt you to read books you might otherwise ignore and give you the chance to see things from others’ perspectives.
Other benefits are the opportunity to meet and make new friends, get involved in your local community, boost team work skills, improve your own writing skills and lower your stress levels.
South London Book Club
Describing itself as relaxed, friendly and not too serious, this club meets on the first Tuesday of every month at The Roundhouse pub in Clapham.
Tooting Book Club
Also meeting on the first Tuesday of every month is Tooting Book Club. The venue is The Gorringe Park pub in Tooting. Books are chosen by members and a typical meeting will include a drink, a catch-up/intro for new members followed by an hour’s discussion on the book.
If you feel unable or unwilling to join a group book club in the current ‘Covid’ climate, there are numerous online clubs. Here are a few:
On the first Tuesday of each month, The Guardian newspaper puts a theme or author to a public vote and settles on a book chosen by the audience. Reader and publisher Sam Jordison then hosts a weekly online discussion explaining the book’s history and giving readers a chance to air their views. There are also online chats with authors.
This is a live event company that also runs live-streamed Q&A sessions with authors. Forthcoming events during September and October include ‘How to be a Liberal’ (Ian Dunt); ‘How to be Strategic’ (Fred Pelard) and ‘The Seine: The River That Made Paris (Elaine Sciolino).
Reese’s Book Club
Actress, Reese Witherspoon has a love of reading which she now shares through her own book club. A special twist is that this monthly book club always has a woman at the centre of the story.