25 August 2021

Arcare Portarlington’s passion for reading

Since 1945, Book Week has united Australians over their passion for books and reading. This year Book Week runs from 21st-27th August, and marks the 75th anniversary of Book Week in Australia.

The Arcare Portarlington community recently started their first book club. Inspired by several residents’ passion for reading and literature, the lifestyle team jumped at the opportunity to start their own book club.

The residence’s onsite library is the home of the Arcare Portarlington Book Club, with the group meeting there once or twice a month to catch-up and discuss their latest read.

“I’ve been reading all my life, and I’ve probably read well over 1000 books.” Resident Elizabeth said. “I wasn’t able to bring all of my books with me when I moved [into aged care], but just looking around [the library], this collection is magnificent.”

Every month the group selects a new book to read, and at the end of every month, the group gets together to give their thoughts and review the book.

The group’s first book was ‘The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared’. The intriguing title caught the eye of group, as they had a chuckle to the thought of the improbability of an 100 year old jumping out a window. While there were parts of the book that the group did enjoy, as a whole, they agreed that they would never go back to it, due to its ‘oddness’.

Although the Book Club started with just four residents, the group has continued to grow every month since. For many residents, the Portarlington Club is their first experience participating in a book club and reading regularly as a part of a community.

“I’ve never been a part of a book club. I’ve always just grabbed books and read the ones that look nice.” Resident Shirley said. “It’s been nice to read something new.”

The Portarlington community is further being brought together by their passion for reading and books by another Arcare initiative this Book Week; the Street Library program. Established in 2018, Arcare Portarlington’s Street Library program encourages the local community to share their favourite books with each other, with a mailbox outside of the Portarlington residence acting as a drop-point for local readers. Portarlington’s Street Library has continued to flourish during lockdown, as the community have utilised program as a safe way stay connected.

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