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This popular hobby combines 3 of the best things for your brain

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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 01/07/22

Joining or starting one of these groups may be just the nudge you need to have an even better year.

It’s the time of year when many of us are trying to improve our lives, and it turns out there’s a very common and popular hobby that improves your life in all kinds of ways — joining a book club!

Did you know that joining a book club is one of the best things you can do for your cognitive health? 

It turns out participating in a book club is an amazing way to keep your mind strong and healthy throughout your life. Book clubs combine three of the best things for your brain: strong social connections, reading books, and lifelong learning. It’s an ideal format for the kind of intellectual growth and stimulation that benefits the mind!

You might read that and think, “Sign me up!” But of course, it’s not that simple. Organizing a book club is a lot of work … especially if there are disagreements over what book to read next. 

Fortunately, there are some wonderful reading groups out there that do the planning work for you! These organizations offer excellent reading material and a structured format, so you can get all the amazing benefits of a book club without having to do all the planning work. 

Joining or starting one of these groups can be just the nudge you need to participate in a book club this year. Here’s to reading more books and enjoying more thoughtful discussions in 2022!  

1Well-Read Mom

If you want to join a book club in 2022, it doesn’t get better than Well-Read Mom (and you don’t need to be a mom to join!). With hundreds of local chapters, you’re sure to find one near you. 

You can learn a little more about how this international organization began and its inspiring mission: 

“In Well-Read Mom, women read more and read well. We hope to deepen the awareness of meaning hidden in each woman’s daily life, elevate the cultural conversation, and revitalize reading literature from books.”

Members have access to the following resources:

  • A 115-page Reading Companion and sturdy bookmark 
  • Monthly Audio Resources to enrich reading and group discussions 
  • Ongoing access to Members-Only Features, podcasts, videos, and bonus materials 
  • A printed copy of the Well-Read Mom Summer Magazine

In full disclosure, I’ve been a Well-Read Mom group leader for over 4 years and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s been one of the best parts of my life. The meetings are so much fun and it’s incredible to experience the community that is built through reading alongside a group of women, month after month and year after year. It brings me so much joy!

2ENDOW

ENDOW stands for “Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women.” The goal of ENDOW is to bring women together in small communities to read and discuss important Catholic writings, from papal and magisterial documents to the lives and writings of the saints.

“When you join the Endow movement, you are not just purchasing a study guide, you are joining and supporting a movement of women who want to cultivate deep friendships based on studying the rich intellectual and spiritual documents of the Catholic Church,” reads the ENDOW mission statement. “Through Endow groups, women encounter their identity as daughters of God, enabling them to grow in their faith and ultimately discover their mission in life.”

3CanaVox

CanaVox is more of a discussion group than a book club. Unlike Well-Read Mom and ENDOW, it’s for both women and men. 

In CanaVox groups, participants gather in small groups to explore and discuss the truths of the Catholic faith and natural law concerning marriage. The readings for each session address the problems our marriage culture faces, but also provide solutions and hope.

If none of these sound quite like what you’re looking for, you might also consider joining or starting a Bible study group. That will have similar benefits while helping you grow in faith, too!

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BooksCatholic Lifestyle
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