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 films).

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.

Library closure

Your library will be closed on July 4.

Summer Reading Program

Your library’s free Summer Reading Program is underway now with the theme of “Build a Better World,” special activities for all ages and prizes for participation.  Stop by the front desk to register and pick up your Bingo sheet.  Mark your calendars for the closing celebration party Friday, July 28 from 4:30-6 p.m. when prizes will be presented and everyone will enjoy music, crafts and snacks.

Activities calendars available

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

Book fair

Mark your calendars for this summer’s Friends of the Library book fair at the Centerpoint Church near Walmart – Friday, August 11 at 5 p.m. for the Friends’ potluck, annual meeting and advance book sale, and Saturday, August 12 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for the public sale.

Summer Reading Club for kids today

Every Thursday we’re hosting different free fun events from 10:30 a.m. – noon for kids.  Today (June 29) you’ll help in the outside garden.

Teen role-playing

The free role-playing game for 7th-12th graders takes place today (Thursday, June 29) from 4-5:30 p.m.  Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters.  You can join this group any time.

All-ages gaming tomorrow

Enjoy free video gaming on the Wii and X-box 360 Kinect with your family and friends tomorrow (Friday, June 30) from 2-3:15 p.m.

Tween gaming

By popular request, we’ll host a free gaming session just for tweens from 4-5 p.m. next Monday, July 3  Fourth-eighth graders can enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Teen gaming

Free teen gaming happens every Tuesday from 4–5:30 p.m. for teens in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.  Note it will be July 5 because of the July 4 holiday.

Teen advisory board

Next Thursday, July 6 the teen advisory board meets from 4-5 p.m.  Bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs.  Share an idea to pick out a free book.

Tech sessions

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

Adult learning

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) program is cutting back to one day a week for the summer.  Stop by on Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m. to let Mark help you with high school equivalency, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.  When school starts in the fall, we’ll expand the PALS hours.

Kids storytime

Every Wednesday from 10-11 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.

Baby storytime

Every Saturday from 9:05 to 9:25 a.m., join us for a free short session of stories, songs and fingerplays for you and your little ones.  Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills into everyday family life.

Toddler storytime     

Every Saturday from 9:30–10 a.m., join us for 30 minutes of free stories, songs and fingerplays with open play afterwards.  Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills in everyday family life.


“Churchill & Orwell” by Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas E. Ricks is a dual biography.  “Blitzed” by Norman Ohler explores the prevalence of drugs in the Third Reich as it preached purity.  “Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies” by David Fisher is the companion book to the Fox News series on the Civil War.  “They All Love Jack” by Bruce Robinson explores a coverup that allowed Jack the Ripper to stay free.  “Called to Rise” by David O. Brown is the memoir of the Dallas police chief who inspired a nation.


“The Premiere Frank Capra Collection” contains five of his films.  “Pokemon Indigo League” is the complete collection.  “Cowboys & Outlaws” is from the History Channel.  “The Eagle Huntress” is the true story of a 13-year-old girl.  “Stonewell Uprising” revisits a time when homosexuality was illegal in the U.S.  “What’s Wrong With People?” by Sebastian Maniscalco is a comedic look at the world.  “Gleason” is a documentary about Steve Gleason’s life after he’s diagnosed with ALS.           

Large print

“Rise & Shine, Benedict Stone” by Phaedra Patrick brings a teenage niece into the home of a man whose life is a mess.  “Not a Sound” by Heather Gudenkauf is a mystery.  “Indecent Exposure” by Stuart Woods is a Stone Barrington mystery.  “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate exposes an adoptive organization that kidnapped children.         

Other novels

“Borne” by Jeff Vandermeer is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story.  “A Dog’s Way Home” by W. Bruce Cameron features a Denver pit bull with great love and loyalty.  “The Frozen Hours” by Jeff Shaara is an historical military novel of the Korean War.  “The Song Rising” by Samantha Shannon is book three in the Bone Season fantasy series.  “Etched in Bone” by Anne Bishop is book five in The Others urban fantasy series.  “Silence Fallen” by Patricia Briggs is a Mercy Thompson vampire novel.  “If Walls Could Talk” and “The Rose Sisters” are both by Victoria Rose.


“Same beach, next year” by Dorothea Benton Frank is the story of two couples who meet every year.  “Testimony” by Scott Turow is a legal thriller.  “Full Wolf Moon” by Lincoln Child is a mystery.  “Since We Fell” by Dennis Lehane is a psychological adventure.  “Camino Island” by John Grisham is a mystery.

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 Jeanne Kaisen, Bruce Wilke and our anonymous donors.   For her generous monetary donation we are grateful to Dianne Van Landingham.  Special thanks to Constance Clark for donating an award-winning baby book called “Perfectly Precious Poohlicious” written by her cousin Mary Elizabeth Jackson.  The book includes lovely illustrations and 10 easy-to-sing songs.  The story is told through the eyes of a boy baby who knows he is perfect just the way he is. The author is an advocate for children with special needs.

Quotable Quote

“It is important to our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to friendship that we are not.” – Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983), American journalist and author

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