Audio books for families:  Great storytelling at home and on car trips

Listening to audio books is a wonderful way for families to enjoy contemporary and classical stories together – at home and on car trips.

To be sure your kids will enjoy the books, let them help you pick which ones they want to listen to.  As you choose, consider three things – subject, length of the book and its narrator (who may be a celebrity your youngster knows from TV or movies).

The popularity of audio books has skyrocketed in recent years, as evidenced by the fact that your library’s collection of books on CD is greatly used and much appreciated by our patrons.  Now a recent article in The New York Times suggests that we may love audio books because they take us back to our childhood when our parents, grandparents and other caregivers read out loud to us.

There also is an historical context to our enjoyment of the spoken word.  As T.M. Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, wrote in The Times: “For most of human history, literature has been spoken out loud.  The Iliad and the Odyssey were sung…. Even after narratives were written down, they were more often heard than read.”

Upon reflection, the popularity of today’s audio books may be another example of the old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Friends of the Library book sale

One of the most popular events of the summer – the Friends of the Library book sale – takes place on Friday, August 10 and Saturday, August 11.  Friday’s potluck and preview sale for members starts at 5 p.m.  The Saturday sale for the public runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., an hour longer than last year, and unsold items will be marked down to half price in the afternoon.  Watch for more details as the date gets closer, and be sure to mark your calendars now so you don’t miss it.

Summer Reading Program underway

The free Summer Reading Program for all ages is on now through July 27.  Sign up at the desk or register from home on our website to get started and pick up (or print out) your first bingo cards. You will receive a free book each time you turn in a completed bingo sheet, and kids also will have the option of getting a small toy out of our treasure chest.  Completing bingo sheets also enters you into the drawing for our grand prizes that will be awarded for each age group at our closing Summer Reading party on Friday, July 27 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. when everyone will enjoy live music, food and crafts.  (Note that you must be present at the party to win a prize.)

Activities calendars available

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free Summer Reading Program events and other 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.

Teens music coding event

Fifth-12th graders will want to save the date of next Thursday, June 28 from 4-5:30 p.m. for a special music coding event.  You’ll learn to make music with computer code.  Some laptops will be provided, but if you have one please bring it.

Board games fun today

Fourth-12th graders are invited to a free board games session today (Thursday, June 21) from 4-5:30 p.m.  Join us to play a variety of board and tabletop games.

SR Club for kids tomorrow

Every Friday this month we’ll have fun Summer Reading Club events for kids from 2-3:30 p.m.  Tomorrow, June 22, you can paint your own masterpiece.  June 29 you can make your own musical instruments out of recyclable materials.

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, June 22) they will discuss “Calling Me Home” by Julie Kibler.  Stop by your library to pick up a copy.  For more information, contact Marilyn Stroud at Bakestroud@aol.com.

LEGO Club and all-ages contest

Kids aged 6 – 12 are invited to bring your imaginations – LEGOs are provided – this Saturday, June 23 from 11 a.m. – noon for the free LEGO Club.

Also, as part of the Summer Reading Program, we are having an all-ages LEGO contest.  Submissions must be turned in by tomorrow, June 22.  Prizes for different age groups will be awarded on Saturday, June 23 at 12:15 p.m. after LEGO Club.  Entries must be built ahead of time and they must be of your own creation, not a LEGO kit or from another source.  Also, no Technic or motorized pieces.  Entries cannot be larger than 18” x 18” x 18”.  Any questions?  Ask at your library or phone 264-2209.

Tween gaming

Free gaming for 4th-8th grades is next Monday, June 25 from 4-5 p.m.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

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.

Fly fishing instruction for adults

Our wildly popular fly fishing class is back – but note that registration is required in person or by phone to your library at 264-2209.  Mark will provide classroom instruction on Tuesday, June 26 from 9-11 a.m.  Demos and casting practice takes place at Yamaguchi Park on Thursday, June 28 from 9-11 a.m.  Please bring your own equipment if you have it.  An optional field trip to the river will take place on Saturday, June 30.

Paws to Read

Tuesday, June 26 from 2-3 p.m., youngsters from K-fifth grades are invited to share their favorite books with Bacchus, a therapy dog who loves listening to stories, at a free Paws to Read session.  This is a great way for beginning readers to build confidence.

Teen role-playing

The free role-playing game for 7th-12th graders takes place Wednesday, June 27 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.  Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters.  You can join this group any time.

Spanish conversation

Next Wednesday, June 27 from 4-5 p.m. practice your Spanish with other Spanish-language learners and speakers  at this free informal session. All are welcome, from beginners to native Spanish speakers.  No registration required.

Adult education new summer schedule

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) is working on a summer schedule – from 2-7 p.m. on Tuesdays.   Come to your library to get help 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.  Note no Tech Time today, June 21.

Computer/technology classes

Join us on Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. for free sessions to learn a technology skill or application.  No class today, June 21.  June 28 we’ll review tools to protect your privacy online.

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 babies, toddlers and youngsters of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.

Spanish-language books

“El  Dia Que Se Perdio El Amor” by Javier Castillo is a combination suspense-love story.  “La Mujer en la Ventana” by A.J. Finn is a suspense story featuring a reclusive woman.  “Sigo Siendo Yo” by Jojo Moyes follows a young woman who comes to New York and finds herself mingling with high society.  “Una Novela Criminal” by Jorge Volpi is a criticism of policies against criminals that do not look at the root causes of the problems.  “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline is set in a virtual utopia in 2044.  “La Paradoja Vegetal” by cardiologist Dr. Steven R. Gundry explores problems with some plant-based proteins.

Short stories

“Florida” by Lauren Groff is a collection of short stories spanning characters, towns, decades and centuries, all with Florida at the gravitational center.

Mysteries and thrillers

“The Moscow Offensive” by Dale Brown is an Iron Wolf Squadron thriller.  “Dreams of Falling” by Karen White follows two women who return home to South Carolina with a devastating secret.

How-to and self-help

“Happy Cactus” by John Pilbeam provides practical tips to help you take care of more than 100 cacti and succulents.  “Digestive Health with Real Food” by Aglaee Jacob is a practical guide to an anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense diet for IBS and other digestive issues.  “The Rodale Book of Composting” by Grace  Gershuny and Deborah L. Martin offers simple methods to improve your soil, recycle waste and grow healthier plants.


“Tesla” BY Richard Munson is the biography of a genius inventor of the radio, robots and remote control who died alone in a New York City hotel.  “Tiger Woods” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian is a biography of the golfer based on years of reporting and interviews with more then 250 people.  “2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Official Book” is a guide to the soccer tournament going on now.  “Hue 1968” by Mark Bowden is a history of the4 biggest battle of the Vietnam War.  “Rude” by English columnist Katie Hopkins is part memoir and part handbook for the modern woman.  “Black Klansman” by Ron Stallworth is a memoir of a black police officer who goes undercover to investigate the KKK; it is about to become a film directed by Spike Lee.


“Thelma” is a Norwegian supernatural drama.  “The War” is a seven-part Ken Burns documentary about World War II.  “Indian Summers” is the complete first season of the Masterpiece series. 

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 Alexis Snider and our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote

“Genius is immediate but talent takes time.” – Janet Flanner (1892-1978), author,  journalist and former Paris correspondent for The New Yorker magazine.

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