Aging By The Book


The Ottawa Public Library is pleased to offer an innovative program called Aging By The Book, a six-week-long discussion group that uses selections by various writers to spark conversations about aging. With funding support from the Ottawa Community Foundation, the OPL is pleased to create a meaningful opportunity for older adults in the community to connect with each other in focused and facilitated sessions to share insights and explore issues that often arise in the later years of life.

Some aspects of aging are obvious but many are not. This program offers an open space for discussion and a chance to explore the different aspects of the older adult experience as portrayed in a wide range of written work.

How does it work?
Aging by the Book is halfway between a book club and a learning circle. Participants meet once a week for six weeks to discuss poems, short stories, essays and excerpts from novels and memoirs about aging. Participants will learn from each other and from the insights and experiences shared in discussions sparked by the selected readings. This is a collaborative learning experience and in no way a course. It is an opportunity for people to explore and learn from each other.

This new program begins on Monday, April 24 at 1:30 p.m., at the Main branch (120 Metcalfe), Program Room MA 117. The group will meet every Monday for six weeks. Register now!
Registration is limited to 10 participants; no new registrants after the second session.

Who participates?
Participants range anywhere between their early 50s to early 80s, and are eager to learn more about aging in general or about their aging selves and what to expect. Newly retired or about-to-retire participants often want to explore their transition to a new life stage. Other participants wish to learn or focus on the changing relationships, whether it is their relationships with other, more senior adults in their lives (aging parents) and/or on changing relationships with adult children.

What do participants read about?
With compassion, eloquence, and humour, writers provide fertile texts that explore:

  • the shift into new roles and new identities
  • the impact of physical, cognitive, and emotional changes
  • the way individuals cope with solitude, and loneliness
  • the discoveries older adults make when seeking new ways to engage with life.

    All readings will be provided by the program and include fiction, memoirs, poetry and non-fiction.  Registration is limited to 10 participants; no new registrants after the second session.

Additional information:
Aging by the Book Website
Aging by the Book - Ideas Program - CBC