Why reading books should be a high priority

You’re not doing yourself any favors if you’re in the 26 percent of American adults who haven’t read even part of a book within the past year.

That number came from a recent Pew Research Center study.  If you’re part of this group, you should know that science supports the idea that reading is good for you.  In fact, several different research projects have documented the value of reading.  Here are a few of their conclusions:

  • Reading fiction can help you to be more open-mined and creative.  A University of Toronto study followed participants who read short-story fiction and found they tested as more open-minded compared with readers of essays. “Although nonfiction reading allows students to learn the subject matter, it may not always help them in thinking about it,” the researchers concluded.  
  • People who read books live longer.  A Yale research project  discovered people who read books for 30 minutes daily lived an average of 23 months longer than nonreaders or magazine readers.  That’s because reading creates cognitive engagement that improves lots of skills, including vocabulary, thinking and concentration.
  • Reading 50 books a year is something you can actually accomplish.  People who do it have found it much less daunting than you might expect.  They trade wasted time on their phones for reading in bed, on trains, during meal breaks and waiting in line.
  • As fans of biographies and memoirs know well, successful people are readers because high-achievers are keen on self-improvement.  While Bill Gates has a schedule that’s planned to the minute, the entrepreneur-turned-billionaire still reads about a book a week.  Aside from a handful of novels, they’re mostly nonfiction covering his and his foundation’s broad range of interests. Among his favorites is “Tap Dancing to Work” by Carol Loomis, a collection of articles and essays about and by Warren Buffet, which is available at our library for your reading pleasure.

Activities calendars available

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library; we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month.  There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.  We look forward to seeing you at your library. Se habla español.

All-ages gaming tomorrow

Join us tomorrow, Friday, January 25 from 2-3:15 p.m. for a free all-ages gaming session where you can enjoy video gaming on Wii and X-box 360 Kinect with your friends and family.

Teen bookclub  tomorrow

Friday, January 25 from 2-3 p.m. at the free teen bookclub, seventh-12th graders will discuss “Reign of Shadows” by Sophie Jordan and enjoy free snacks.  Stop by the library to pick up a copy.  

Literary Ladies tomorrow

This free book lovers group – formerly the Senior Book Club – meets on the fourth Friday of every month from 10:30 a.m.–noon. Tomorrow, Friday, January 25, they will discuss “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann.  Stop by your library to pick up a copy.  For more information, contact Marilyn Stroud at Bakestroud@aol.com

LEGO Club on Saturday    

Kids aged 6 – 12 are invited to bring your imaginations – LEGOs are provided – on Saturday, January 26 from 11 a.m. – noon for the free LEGO Club.

Otaku Club

The Otaku (Anime/Manga) Club meets Monday, January 28 from 4-5 p.m.  Join us to watch anime, talk about manga and Asian cultures, and enjoy snacks.   This free club is for fifth-12th grades.

Teen gaming

Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4–5:30 p.m. for teens in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks. 

Teen steampunk crafts

Steamboat crafts takes place Wednesday, January 30 from 4-5:30 p.m. for 7th-12th graders when you’ll make crafts and jewelry from gears, keys and whatever else we can find. 

Spanish conversation

Wednesday, January 30 from 3-4 p.m. practice your Spanish with others at this free informal session. All are welcome, from beginners to native Spanish speakers.  No registration required.

Computer classes

Join us for free sessions from 1-2 p.m. on alternating Thursdays to learn a useful technology skill or application.  Thursday, January 31 is Saving and Finding Files when you learn how your computer is organized, including files and folders.  No registration required. 

Adult education

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) takes place on  Mondays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 7 p.m.  Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.   

Free tech sessions

Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-noon and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m.   

Family storytimes

Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and Saturday from 9:30-10 a.m., join us for free great stories, fun songs and plenty of reasons to get up and move.  This is an excellent way for kids of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.  Both storytimes are open to babies, toddlers and youngsters of all ages to make it easier for parents to attend with their children depending on their busy schedules rather than the age of their little ones.

Expanded policy re DVDs

You now can check out 10 DVDs at a time.  Also, new DVDs will be a separate category and you can check out two new DVDs in addition to the 10 from the regular offerings.  We believe our DVD fans will appreciate this additional checkout number.  It’s a win for your library as well, as we project it will create additional shelf space as more of our collection is checked out.

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“Daughter of War” by Brad Taylor is a Pike Logan thriller.  “Liar Liar” by James Patterson and Candice Fox features a good cop gone bad.


“Turning Point” by Danielle Steel follows four American trauma doctors involved in a mass-casualty training program in Paris.  “The Treasure of Cythera” by Victoria Rose, a local author, is a murder mystery set on an island in the Aegean Sea. 


“The Truths We Hold” by Senator Kamala Harris explores the core truths that unite us and how best to act on them.  “The Longest Line on the Map” by Eric Rutkow documents the birth of the Pan-American Highway and the quest to link North and South America.  “UnDo It!” by Dean and Anne Ornish shows how simple lifestyle changes can reverse many common chronic diseases.  “The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet/second edition” by Dr. Donald D. Hensrud is a weight loss and lifestyle program.  “The Clean Plate” by Gwyneth Paltrow provides more than 100 recipes and six cleanses.  “Fire and Furry” edited by Michael Wolf is a collection of photos and humorous catch phrase observations of politics today.

“Addicted to Outrage” by Glenn Beck addresses how America has become more irrational and divided both politically and socially, and offers ways to a more hopeful, happy future.  “2019 Standard Catalog of World Coins” is the 13th edition.  “The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2019” is America’s best-selling reference book.  “Let’s Make All the Day Count” by Charlie Daniels is a collection of everyday wit, wisdom and life lessons from the Grammy Award-winning musician.  “How We’re F***ing Up Our Planet” by environmentalist Tony Juniper uses scientific evidence to discuss the challenges we face and how to create a better world for our children.  (Please excuse the language; it’s the title of the book, not our choice of words!)


“Split” is a thriller delving into the mysterious recesses of a gifted man’s mind.  “Harold and Maude” is the classic comedy with Cat Stevens’ music.  “The Age of Adaline” follows a 29-year-old woman who survives a near-death experience.

Programmed Nooks

We have nine free Nooks and three free tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure.  The eight adult content e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers.  The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults. 

Downloadable e-books

Current New York Times bestseller downloadable e-books are being added regularly to our free 3M Cloud Library.  Access them by clicking on the 3M Cloud Library icon on the home page of our website.  While there, browse through a multitude of other adult, juvenile and children’s books, both bestsellers and classics in many genres.

Downloadable films

For your viewing pleasure, we offer IndieFlix, a free streaming movie service that gives you unlimited access to more than 7,500 award-winning and popular independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from more than 50 countries – on your device, PC or Mac, with no apps needed.  Access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on the library’s website.  Use “Quick Pick,” the discovery tool that lets you sample movies like you would music.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Sherri Pierce and our anonymous donors.  For her generous monetary gift, we are grateful to Muriel Eason.

Quotable Quote   

“What is man without the beasts?  If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit.  For whatever happens to the beasts happens to man.”  Chief Seattle, 1786-1866, Native American chief and inspirational speaker for whom the city of Seattle, Washington is named.

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