It’s a cozy, familiar scene: a child cuddles up with a favorite stuffed toy or blanket and settles in to listen to a captivating story being read aloud by a much-loved grandparent. This one looks a bit different, though: the grandparent and child are in their own homes, and they are both logged on to a video chat to share the story.

Reading together has always been a wonderful way for adults and children to connect with one another and build the child’s love for literature. It also offers an opportunity for grandparents to share their own stories and memories sparked by the book, whether it is rationing during WWII, the space race, or growing up on a farm.

Nowadays, even if grandparents cannot physically be in the same space as their grandchildren due to social distancing requirements – or just distance, period, even before the pandemic – tools like ZoomSkypeFacetime and Facebook Messenger have made it possible to continue enjoying those special moments and carrying on the time-honored tradition of intergenerational reading. As an added bonus, video chats with grandparents also offer children the opportunity to practice reading aloud to an adoring audience. With full wi-fi as one of the many on-site amenities at Lexington Square senior living communities in Elmhurst and Lombard, residents can engage in these gratifying experiences easily and seamlessly!

Looking for ways to make reading with a grandchild via video chat even more meaningful and special?

Reading together is all about connection, and many literacy lovers also enjoy connecting with other readers through book clubs, which remain extremely popular even with the proliferation of technology and other forms of entertainment. Not only are book clubs an excellent opportunity for social interaction, they can also introduce readers to books they might not otherwise check out, offer exposure to different points of view, and promote deeper reading. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder that more than 5 million readers nationwide belong to a book club, and that an in-house book club is among the many social and recreational activities on offer for Lexington Square residents.

Looking for a book club to join? The pandemic has ushered in a new chapter for some local groups, who have taken their offerings virtual! Check out the Elmhurst Public Library’s Trading Titles group or Adult Book Discussion, or Elmhurst-based West Suburban Books and Bordeaux book club, all of which have continued to meet over Zoom. The Helen Plum Library in Lombard is offering a virtual Book Discussion, a virtual Book Club and a Virtual Library Lounge, all of which have events scheduled for January. You may also want to check out this list of online book clubs.

You could also create your own virtual book club with friends far and near, or get multiple generations involved in a family book clubCheck out these tips to ensure your virtual book club is a success. The Elmhurst Public Library also offers a Local Book Club service for residents; library staff will help you choose titles, get books, come up with discussion questions and more!

Whether you are looking for your next book club selection or a tome to enjoy on your own, you’ll want to check out National Public Radio’s recently-released 2020 Book Concierge. This robust tool allows readers to apply different filters – including one for Book Club Selections! – and explore thousands of recommendations from staff and critics. You may also want to take a look at these 10 book-recommendation sites, check out this list of book club recommendations for 2021, or peruse celebrities’ bookshelves to find your next great read!

With their power to transport and transform us, books truly are the perfect cold-weather companion and a wonderful way to connect with friends, family and other readers. So as winter sets in, make it a point to find a good book – and someone to share it with.

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