Winter is a great time to relax and look forward to activities you enjoy the most. And with weeks or even months of chilly weather ahead, it's a must to find a good hobby indoors.
Reading can be a fun and rewarding way to spend your time at home until the warm weather comes in the spring. Whether you're looking to make a New Year's reading resolution or just making the most of your quality time at home during cold winter months, we at Grand Villa assisted living community in Grand Junction, CO, offer some of our favorite classics for you to consider reading (or rereading!) in the comfort of your assisted living apartment.
A time-honored classic, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is one many remember first encountering in high school English class. But it's worth another read through. The novel revolves around the fast-paced life of millionaire bachelor Jay Gatsby, his pursuits of love and the consequences that come from his wealthy lifestyle. Capturing the bright-eyed nostalgia of the early 20th century in the United States, this novel is a great option for those who want to revisit or experience the hustle and bustle of the Roaring Twenties and the luxuries (as well as the turmoil) of the rich and famous.
If you have young grandchildren, this would be a great option to read along with them! Another well-known novel, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, (or just The Wizard of Oz in more recent publications) is familiar to readers of all ages. It follows Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas, who is suddenly swept away in a cyclone into the bright, colorful new world of Oz. She soon travels to a distant Kingdom along with a few quirky strangers she meets along the way. With its eccentric cast of characters and brilliant storytelling, this children's fantasy novel can help bring your childhood wonder and imagination.
J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye is the coming-of-age tale of Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy who moves in with his brother after his displacement during World War II. This book is perfect for those who love complex narratives, realistic characters and themes involving the overarching consequences of worldwide conflict. It's regarded as one of the best English novels of all time, making it a must-read for anyone interested in classic literature.
For readers who also enjoy historical context, To Kill a Mockingbird is a great novel choice. Set in the deep South during the 1950s, the story follows the life of lawyer Atticus Finch, his two young children Scout and Jem and the court trial of Tom Robinson. Robinson is a black man Finch is assigned to defend, and his involvement in the case results in scathing criticism from the local townspeople. Harper Lee's book is a renowned narrative celebrated for its bluntness in addressing issues of race. This novel isn't for the faint of heart, as it does contain some explicit language and other sensitive themes. Nonetheless, To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic many readers might want to consider for their reading lists this year.
If you're looking for a lesser-known classic with darker themes, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is the novel for you. In a dystopian future, fireman Guy Montag is tasked with burning books that have been outlawed by his society as he attempts to discover the reason why they're banned at all. This suspense-filled thriller is a good read for those who enjoy classic novels with a modern edge. Just don't burn your copy of the book after reading.
Although reading seems like a simple enough task, you can enhance your enjoyment and retention by keeping a few tips in mind:
• E-books. If you're an avid reader, you're probably aware of all the clutter that comes with storing physical copies of books in your assisted living apartment. Consider using a tablet (iPad, Kindle, etc.) to keep all your newest reads in one organized and digital location.
• Visit a local library. Libraries are often overlooked but offer a vast section of novels you can borrow via a library card. In addition, many libraries also have free or low-cost book bins if you're looking for a few titles that you intend to keep for little to no cost. If you have family nearby, consider a group trip! For those with limited mobility, some libraries offer an online check-out option, and books can be delivered to your home through the mail or via curbside pickup at the library.
• Take notes as you read: In today's world, staying focused on just one thing at a time can seem difficult. This can make activities that require concentration, such as reading, feel more like a chore. If there's a book you wish to focus on in-depth, notetaking might help you connect and associate the novel's narrative in ways that make it relevant to you. Keep a pen and several highlighters on hand if you have a physical copy (that you own). If it's a digital copy and you're a bit more tech-savvy, some tablets offer some in-text note-taking and highlighting tools.