Reading Lists For Your Retirement Living

Reading Lists For Your Retirement Living?Reading lists for your retirement living

Do you have a reading list for your retirement living?  As a retired senior citizen?   you a reader?  What are you reading? If nothing, why not? 

Haven’t you found yourself a bit bored on occasion?.  TV really can be a test of your sanity.     

These questions might take you by surprise, as they did me when I discovered them while thinking of ways to live a better life in retirement. 

Boys and girls, fair warning.  Living life at the top or what can be done the goal of this writer.

Reading is a lifelong passion for many of us.

Actually, there was a question about a reading list for teens and young adults that got me to thinking about this. Is it gift giving time for you too? 

With a large family, you are also blessed with a large birthday and graduation list to add to your annual Christmas list for gifts. A book seems a good choice, but which one?  There are so many. 

Some time ago you may have resolved to just give a little cash or gift card.  There are other times you might like to get something different, and that is where this question entered the discussion.  Where to find a good suggested reading list? 

Then came the question of a retired senior citizen wanting a reading list!  How about a nonreading adult who wants to learn to enjoy reading in retirement?  Is it possible? 

How does a retirement-aged person acquire this reading habit? 

While there seemed to be few guidelines to help get on together for a nonreader, there were so many for those who love to read.  As a guideline to find that gift of a book for a nonreader, the suggestion of following their interest is the main guiding point, just as it is for those avid readers.

An adult continuing education leader was consulted at this point.  The suggestions from her included introducing books with lots of pictures. 

As an avid reader, I usually do not go the picture route so much, so was quite taken with this idea.

Old quick, smart late

As usual, when you have lived as long as me, there are lots of life experiences to back up sound suggestions.  Being fortunate to be around and help my parents through the last few years of their lives, hazy memories became more grounded. 

Our Dad’s youth was a difficult scrabble to survive.  He was not alone in this effort, many families from that day and time were in the same boat.  Education took a back seat to the family needing the help of older kids in the family to work the farm. 

Long story short, he quit school in the 6th grade.  Already better educated than his Father, he was a grade or two behind, and not soundly based on the level he was in.   Still unable to read, he was stronger with math skills. 

As the years go by, Mom as an avid reader, received books as gifts.  My brother brought Dad some picture books on different gift-giving occasions.  Airplanes were of particular interest to him.  He enjoyed a few flights, with individuals who were hobby flyers. 

Seeing aerial views of the state of Texas, the towns, the property lines.  These were very interesting to him. 

To me, a quick once over and I was done.  He would go back and review and enjoy the pictures for as long as his mind allowed.  I see now, that the picture books would have helped him be more comfortable with his reading skills. 

That is why he liked reading to the grandkids, which he did not do often, but would on occasion.  Their books were on his level of reading. 

Where to shop?

Amazon has an endless listing of many books, and enough description, to make a choice for any age reader.  Barnes and Nobles have an amazing selection and descriptions as well.  There are several online stores to help you with the many choices that are there. 

Online shopping has its benefits for gift giving needs.  However, the cost is to be considered.  Books are not free.

Having grown up and matured in a rural part of the world, we had Sears and Wards catalogs.  While they did not offer the choices of books, the whole concept of shopping by mail is one we are comfortable with. 

This is not to say that the feel of a new book in the hand is not appreciated.  However, visits to the exotic large bookstores did not happen. 

So a community library filled the bill.Reading lists for your retirement living

The smell of a large room so full of so much information and knowledge is still mystical. 

Never having approached the prospect of a reading list, beyond class assignments, a list is a new experience.  After retirement, your ideas of what you like to read have probably undergone a change.  There is so much to find out as you are learning about yourself.  

. Thinking back to reading in my 50’s, the choices I was making already were drifting away from romance to mystery and western history.  

The book will lay unfinished if I am not interested until it is checked back into the library.

You are changing

As a younger reader, I was more interested in having some sex in the novel. This was not a place where I lost interest.  Yes, I know this is definitely age-related, but there it is!  So for my reading list to be the one recommended by a 35-year-old person would not be helpful. 

So what does a retired person like to read?

A book that makes you feel good when finished is definitely a good one.  Stories that highlight people overcoming tragedy and hardships will work.

A journey into the ways of improving your life quality? 

Then history is always captivating.   

Books that grow you as an individual are always good reads for you. 

 A friend once shared a true story about her life when she was 6 and 7 in war-torn areas of Russia.  She told about evacuating and hiding in old houses.  This provoked an interest in the stories of the percussion of the Jews prior and during world war II. 

Until she shared that story, this part of history was not what I thought I enjoyed.  How wrong that thought was.  Those stories have opened a whole new way of looking at that time in history. 

Now to find your books   

Again with the thought in mind that variety helps keep one reading.  The one suggestion that holds true for senior adult readers as for children, teen and young adults is variety. 

Staying saturated in one particular genre is not recommended.  Developing a well-rounded appreciation for literature will increase your enjoyment. This also will help you realize some time well spent in reading. 

You are more apt to become burned out and bored with the whole adventure.  You will no longer want to read about anything, even something you enjoy if you do not vary the reading material.  Some adventure, some history, some help your self.

How to reap the benefit of reading

Good mixing increases the enjoyment of reading.  Even good fiction written by an author you love can become boring if not altered with other reading choices.

Research has proved that reading makes you smarter.  You continue to learn and grow your mental sharpness and interests through reading.  Smart and intelligent people are readers.  The healthier and happier ones among us read.   So changing out what you feed your mind will continue to keep your brain flexible and your benefits keep appearing. 

Some good positive thinking reading is good to add to your list.

Suggestions for getting started reading. 

Get acquainted with your library in your community.  Get your membership card.  Even if you must drive a bit, it is worth it. 

Most public libraries will allow you to borrow their books online for your computer reading or your nook or kindle.  Ask for directions to do so if you want to use your electronic devices.  Reading a book on a smartphone is even a choice. 

There are many choices available for you in today’s world.  You can spend the day in most libraries, sitting and reading. 


One of the most interesting uses of a library was when a retiree named Thomas took a chartered sailboat to the ports he wanted to go to.  This man who lived in Midland Texas was a caregiver for his wife as her Alzheimer’s progressed to capture her life as they knew it.

His get-away

He sailed during this caregiving time of his life by reading the stories he found of sailing. Those actual accounts from people making the trip.  His journal resembled a travelers journal.  Here he mentioned all the sights he would see had he actually been there.

He referenced pictures on the computer and maps as well as library references.   Some of the stories involved pirates and some were spies for the government. 

So much history and local lore were obtained from his reading and study that he spoke with knowledge about all the parts of the journey.  He knew the names of the business along the streets in the different ports. Significant families names along the way.  The foods they had on board as well as in each port. 

This was his escape and the days in the library were spent after she passed away.  He felt he could not desert the trip till he had completed the whole thing, and his many journals were his witness to using this escape to pass the days after his beloved wife passed. 

An Interest

Was he lonesome and sad?  No, at least not all the time.   Maybe obsessed, but the adjusting happened without him paying attention.  He had an interest.

Did it cost him many thousands of dollars?  No!  He took his journal trip by checking out books at the library.  The ones that had the maps that were classified as “research materials” and had to be enjoyed in the facility caused some real long library days. 

He did those the days he could not get out in the yard because of bad weather.  In the western parts of Texas when a weather front blows through it is often accompanied by a day of sand blowing. 

I know those who live in non-sand blowing parts of the world do not understand these days and how depressing they can be.   He enjoyed these days behind the library walls instead of trying to watch old movie reruns or boring TV. 

So don’t remain a nonreader in retirement.  Find some type of reading you can enjoy. 

ReadingReading lists for your retirement living

Reading can enrich your retirement years too much to not take advantage of this activity.  Let the magic happen for yourself.

However, remember it is a habit that has to be built.  You will not find yourself automatically reaching for a book.  You will need to expose yourself to the activity. 

Pick a subject matter and give it a try.  See if you can improve your retirement living days by adding some enjoyable reading to your leisure times.


Here are some suggestions for reading from my reading list of books to read:

Blue by Dannielle Steele –

When a  Beverly Hills professional, Ginny Carter, is trying to get her life back together after a life-altering event. Meeting a 13-year-old homeless boy, named Blue, and they each reframe the meaning of family. As more secrets are revealed Ginny is faced with even harder choices.(fiction- good enjoyable read I am assured) 

My Name is Lucy Barton by  Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton’s mother visits her in the hospital following a basic operation. The reality of their strained relationship causes Lucy to face the truth about every other aspect of her life.  (Fiction)   

This TIme Together: Laughter and Reflection  Carol Burnet 

The comedienne-actress infuses laughter and emotion into the pages of this book – inviting the reader into the part of her world that was not widely broadcast. Vulnerable and honest  (Non-Fiction)  

The Grace In Aging; Awaken As You Grow Older – Katherine Dowling Singh

The author writes about spiritually awakening, as you grow older, without hinging her position on any one particular belief system. The Grace in Aging offers suggestions for embracing the transformative power of growing older.   


These are the ones left on the list to read that may or may or not be read.  There will be additions to my list in the next few days as another visit to the library takes place. Sometimes a suggested title from a celebrity on TV or from a blog I may run across gets added.

Having a list keeps the reader grounded and reading a variety of books.  Write down the names of the books you read, and keep your list.  As you find new ones to add, having a list of what you have read will help you choose the kind of books you want to read more of. 

The main thing is to enjoy the reading. Know that reading will make you smarter.  You can make your world happier or sadder by what you read.  Using the community library can make this affordable.  Enjoy your retirement living.  If you are not, change what needs changing.  It is the only life you will have. 

Love it!












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