Reading and Writing Make Great Winter Hobbies

Most people equate December with the holidays – and rightfully so – but December is also a great month to spend some time on hobbies like reading and writing. In fact, the whole month of December is known as Read a New Book Month, and December 7th is National Letter Writing Day!

While the pandemic will impact many holiday traditions and celebrations this year, December is the perfect time to get lost in a book that you’ve been meaning to start or to begin exchanging letters with an old friend or perhaps a new one!  If you don’t have a stack of books waiting to be read or lined up in your Kindle’s que, here’s the 2020 Must Read Book List according to Time. When you open the pages of a book, you find yourself swept up in a world of characters, stories, and discover a portal for new experiences.

Noble values the art of literature

Noble Horizons understands just how important reading is – we’ve been offering guided book clubs to members of the Noble community and surrounding communities for over a decade.  Hotchkiss School instructor Keith Moon began teaching a Russian book course in 2010 that has evolved into a highly anticipated annual spring tradition with enrollments of 35 people or more!  Carita Gardiner, a Hotchkiss School English teacher, has led several book clubs and even welcomed Noble residents to join her 11th grade English class at Hotchkiss while they read a book with the students.  Shakespeare experts George Faison and Jim Fornshell, also from Hotchkiss, have brought the Jacobean playwright to life through their classes and Noble residents enjoy their own book club, although virtually now. The Noble library is well-stocked with regular and large print books and is managed and stocked by members of the Noble Horizons Auxiliary.  

Let’s get Writing!

You probably spend some time every December or even late November working on your Christmas card list, but it’s not quite the same as sitting and penning an actual letter to someone. Letter writing has been in decline because of smartphones, the internet, and before that, the telephone, but for hundreds of years, it was the only way for people separated by distance to stay in touch with one another. During the pandemic, however, letter writing is experiencing a resurgence.  Why not join the emerging by penning a letter today?

Need some inspiration to start writing?

The Hotchkiss School launched a pen pal program at the start of the pandemic, and it has thrived.   Hotchkiss students and Noble Horizon’s residents have corresponded since last spring, creating mutually rewarding friendships that are particularly meaningful during these times of isolation.  The pen pal program also offers the fulfilling comforts of a two-generation relationship during the pandemic when extended families aren’t able to see each other.  The pen pal friendships allow both members to learn from each other and through shared stories, they develop a deeply felt appreciation and understanding of generations different from their own.  It is hoped that once COVID is under control the pen pal pairs will be able to meet each other in person.

Reading and writing are great hobbies not only for the month of December but all year long. You can immerse yourself in the world of fiction or biography and even travel the world without leaving the safety and comfort of your home. Writing offers its own form of joy – whether you choose to write letters to old friends or family or join a pen pal program like the one here at Noble, you can find comfort, entertainment, and socialization all from just a pen and paper.


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