What I learnt from (another) year running a book club

Julian Harcourt
4 min readMar 24, 2022

Getting older is a great read!

Woman reading a book — face obscured by the book
Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels

When I was a child and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was a reporter and writer. Ironically my grasp of the English language and handwriting that looked like a spider running across the page (thanks, Dad) closed that door firmly shut.

My love of reading didn’t really kick in until my 20s and the point I was doing it on my terms.

I now feel like things have gone full circle, as setting up and running a book club was never high on my agenda. My focus on all things ageing led me to set up my own business focused on this area, and the book club was a bi-product of this focus. I started in lockdown in 2020; it has become more than I ever thought. It has helped me meet some fantastic authors, had me read some great books and helped bring the experience to more people globally.

My book club is more a conversation with the author than a more classic read and discuss style club. I pick a book I have read/am about to read/want to read, approach the author and see if they will participate.

Thankfully I’m yet to have a rejection! Last year I was again lucky enough to read and talk to some fantastic authors.

Anna Dixon was at the time CEO of the UK’s Centre for Ageing Better. Her book The Age of Ageing Better covers a comprehensive range of topics and helps to spotlight some of the many areas we haven’t come to terms with.

To have her join us on a February evening to share her perspectives was both stimulating and uplifting. There is a part of her book where she outlines a pretty grim scenario (The Age of Ageing Badly) where adverse outcomes around health and employment hit society hard; there is also an interesting take on housing and homes for the future and what could happen if we plan for it.

Face of giant Tortoise
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Next up, we had Andrew Steele’s Ageless. Andrew as a scientist, brought a very different viewpoint. What if we can slow/stop the process of ageing and therefore avoid some of the things that restrict quality of living. The phrase how to live long enough to…

Julian Harcourt

Owner greyafro marketing, interested in ageing & longevity (but aren't we all?)