Reading in retirement
With the average person expected to read as many as 700 books in their lifetime, based on a US study, or as many as 4000 for 'super readers', many of us share a love of books. This is heightened in childhood and when reading in retirement. In fact, a 2019 TGI study found that
book-reading adults who are ‘heavy readers’ are 26% more likely than the average reader to be aged 65 or over.
Our libraries are designed to encourage reading in retirement. Bookshelves contain everything from romantic fiction to factual books of encyclopaedic proportions, all of which owners are welcome to help themselves to, and return once finished. Many people donate their own books to be shared and enjoyed by others. After all, there's nothing quite like passing on a book you loved. It makes for a very interesting conversation too.
So whatever your preferred genre, whether you wish to immerse yourself in the dramatic storyline of a fictional novel, devour one of the classics, or perhaps even look up a new skill, the library is always a good place to start.
How reading can improve brain health
It is unsurprising that reading books has significant benefits. It goes without saying that reading a factual book can increase your knowledge on any given subject, but it is in fact the case that reading anything at all can improve your positive state of mind.
Reading a book (or an ebook) is an activity that can be done alone, in the quiet company of others, or in groups whereby a book can provide the subject of conversation. The UK Book Club has almost 6,000 members. The sharing of books and an appreciation of reading provides another way for older people particularly, to interact with others. More time on your hands in later life is another great reason to start reading in retirement.
According to experts, the benefits of reading are diverse...
- Sharpens the brain
- Improves learning
- Increases knowledge
- Increases vocabulary
- Improves memory and focus
- Thinking skills
- Lowers stress
- Strengthens writing ability
- Enhances imagination
- Boosts sleep
According to a study looking into the benefits of reading for the brain, it found that reading a book causes heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist even after you’ve stopped reading.
Scientists also found that reading poetry stimulates activity in the brain area associated with autobiographical memory.
Overall, reading is a complex process, requiring several parts of the brain to help piece together and visually recreate what’s happening in the text. This brain activity will stand you in good stead for becoming more widely analytical and readers are able to spot patterns more quickly, a key trait of good analytical thinking.
Find out more about living in an Audley retirement village, including libraries, wellness suites, bars, restaurants and hair salons.