The 4 best things about our virtual book club
Book Week is all about celebrating the magical world that books can invite us into to escape, indulge, distract and entertain; and here at Feros Care, we know the power of a good book to bring people together.
Since launch in 2017, our Virtual Social Centre has been offering support to hundreds of Feros Care clients. Our easy-to-use online platform offers language lessons, exercise classes, music lessons, activities such as arts and crafts, games, information sessions and – a real favourite with participants – virtual book club!
Through the Virtual Social Centre, our Feros Care clients use their personal devices such as tablets, laptops and webcams to log into the platform and participate in the book club, meeting other book lovers from across the country with interactive sessions.
Read more about what we love about our virtual book club, from those who enjoy it regularly.
1. It’s the perfect way to meet others, even if you’re shy
82-year-old Elisabeth is one of our Virtual Social Centre participants who enjoys French lessons, ukulele lessons and even the exercise classes; but despite being part of a book club in her local community of Bellingen, Elisabeth still requested that a book club be introduced as part of the Virtual Social Centre.
“They thought it was a great idea and made it happen – they are so good like that!” Elisabeth explains. “Now we have a group with people from all over Australia and we get to know each other quite well.”
Elisabeth has chronic fatigue syndrome and doesn’t always have the energy to go out for coffee with friends, or get out in her local community; thankfully, the virtual book club ensures she can still have company. “I live on my own, and with the tablet, I can interact with other people instead of just lying in bed on my own,” she says.
By going virtual, it truly opens up whole new opportunities to connect with those you may never have otherwise met, building relationships with endless opportunities. “To connect with people over a book is perfect because it’s a common subject,” Elisabeth points out. “It provides a lot of opportunity for conversation and two-way sharing. And then you end up talking about everything else as well!”
2. It gets you reading more
If you’re looking for inspiration to get your head into a book more often, this is the ultimate way to do so. A little accountability in the form of a club can go a long way.
“We have a weekly book club and a monthly book club. The weekly one is dedicated to a short, light read and the monthly is longer and more serious. You can join either one, or both if you like,” explains Elisabeth. “But if you don’t finish the weekly one – it doesn’t matter. It can just carry over to the next week and no one minds. But it certainly encourages me to read more.”
Not much of a reader, or partially-sighted? The world of audiobooks is an exciting one these days, with apps such as Audible even offering free trials to dip your toe into the water of listening to amazing stories while getting on with other tasks throughout your day.
Or you might like to read novels on your tablet rather than paperback, where you can increase the font size to make it much easier to read.
3. You’ve got plenty of options to choose from – and you don’t have to like the book!
The best thing about books is that there’s something for everyone out there – and at our Virtual Social Centre book clubs, a variety of genres are covered.
“We all take it in turns to suggest a book, and we listen to each other to see what everyone else recommends,” Elisabeth says. “We’re perfectly accepting if someone doesn’t like the book, or they object to something. We all get on so nicely.”
Variety is the spice of life, after all, and opinions make book club chat more interesting! Your fellow book club attendees want to know if you found something to be annoying, confusing, fascinating or exciting.
4. There is support should you need it
It doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself very tech-savvy. The best thing about the Virtual Social Centre is that, once you register, one of our team members will be able to show you how the platform works and provide you with personalised training virtually.
Additionally, there is face to face training available in certain locations. You will also be given a User Guide that you can refer to any time you forget how something works.
Still thrown by something? It’s no problem – one of our team members is always happy to help out, or chat more about a program offering that you’d like to see added in.