Senior Living: Discovering classic literature in retirement

by Garden of Palms

Senior Living: Discovering classic literature in retirement

It is often said that retirement is the rebirth of childhood. Naturally, childhood is a natural time to learn new things. But, your retirement is an opportunity to experience things that you may have overlooked during your childhood and career. Have you wanted to read Shakespeare all through your life but did not find the time to devote to such a large body of work? Perhaps you have loved the poems of Robert Frost? Retirement is the time to develop interesting perspectives and quench your thirst of knowledge. Reading classical literature will help to provide a wonderful source of knowledge and information.


Reading activities have been implemented heavily by many senior living communities in the United States. The benefits of reading are expansive, and including things from memory care therapy, to simple personal luxury and entertainment. Book clubs also provide a kind of shared joy of reading, and provide an opportunity for older adults to translate their personal satisfaction with reading to a shared joy and social activity by discussing literary works with their peers. This is a strong example of a healthy, dynamic activity with a range of personal benefits. As a senior living community in Los Angeles, we have observed first hand the positive, therapeutic, and relaxing effects of spending time with classic literature.

Senior Living: Discovering classic literature in retirement

What you should read?

Different people have different goals for reading. Avid readers may read for reasons including seeking to build knowledge of the past, becoming lost in fantastic worlds, or developing new perspectives on life and the universe. A rule of thumb for many readers is to digest any material that provides pleasure. Novels, books, stories, and poems all provide personal value, but classical literature is widely revered by scholars and intellectuals for its richness, charm, originality, and ability to develop the mind and comfort the soul. Whether you’ve never had much time for reading or a you’re a literary enthusiast, we’ve compiled a selection of literary works that you should consider either reading for the first time, or revisiting again.


Treasure Island

Written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1882, Treasure Island is an absolute classic adventure tale that really helped to establish an entire genre of books, and films later on, centered around exuberant adventure, travel, and discovery.  


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Written by Mark Twain and published in 1876, Tom Sawyer is really a classic piece of Americana that builds a quaint, picturesque view of southern culture in 19th century America. Obviously Mark Twain has a renowned library of works, and if you’re just getting started with Twain, then Tom Sawyer is the place to start.


The Hobbit

Written by J.R.R Tolkien and published in 1937, The Hobbit is the genesis of the legendary Lord of the Rings saga. Tolkien is a well loved British author who nearly invented the mystic and magic genre that has grabbed the interest of readers for nearly a century. Tolkien writes with a level of imagination and detail that begs to be experienced.


Closing Thoughts

Retirement provides an opportunity to savor life and indulge at your own pace in whatever sparks your interest. The nature of classic literature is that it’s an activity that simply requires a substantial time investment.  If you’ve spent time building a career and family, but are finding retirement has opened up energy and space for new activities, discovering classic literature is a pursuit that provides a rewarding experience.


If you’re exploring senior living options in the Los Angeles area, or you have a family member whom you’re helping to find the best community for their personal tastes and needs, please contact us for more information or to tour our community.