Back To Mitford

2017-12-11 hexagon flower pillowcases

It’s that time of the year – the Christmas season – when many people totally abandon reading. Not enough time, they say. Too much to do. Can’t concentrate when I have so many things on the mind. My suggestion: listen to audio-books while you work!

I’ve been listening to the latest Mitford novel in the kitchen while I work on hand-sewing projects. It feels like visiting with an old friend. Most of the characters from Jan Karon’s earlier novels are in the book (some have died over the years). There’s Father Tim, who is fully retired now, his artistic wife, and their grown son Dooley, who has married and is now a licensed veterinarian. The small town of Mitford has the same favorite places – the diner, local grocery store, the Cavanaugh house, etc. The book makes you feel like you’re back home after being away for a while.

I also listen while making supper and folding laundry. There’s just nothing like having a good book read to you while you do your hands-on work. You can listen on an old-fashioned CD player (yes, they are still sold) with library CDs, listen on your computer, or download books to your phone through apps like Overdrive or Hoopla. The advantage to listening on your phone is that you can just tuck it in your pocket and the story follows you wherever you go.

Give audio-books a try, and see if they keep your love of books going until things slow down enough to sit down with a physical book to read.

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Books For Dogs?

dog with headphones
photo credit: http://dogsome.net/company-introduces-books-dogs/

When I first heard someone say there were books for dogs, I thought it was a joke. Turns out it’s really happening. Audible, the company that offers tens of thousands of downloadable audio-books, is now expanding into the dog world.

Audible partnered with Cesar Millan to start a line of audio-books that will keep dogs company while their owners are off at work. They stay calmer and happier if they have the same voice talking to them, so audio-books can work better than music to sooth. In fact, your dog may be better behaved if he’s had a book to listen to during the workday. If you want to look into this new idea, just go to audible.com.

So hey, why not? I find audio-books quite relaxing myself. I’m not sure that you need to buy one from Audible that’s specially for dogs, though. Just try a book from your personal collection, or check out a few from your local library. Try different readers, and hopefully you can find a narrator that leaves your dog feeling as mellow as the one in the picture above.

The Joy Of E-Audiobooks

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Think you can’t enjoy a great story because you’re too busy to sit down and read a book?  Try exploring the world of e-audio-books. Most public libraries now let you use your library card to check out and download audio-books to your cell phone, tablet, or computer.

Last week, I checked out “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” from my library’s website and downloaded it onto my cellphone. The book is narrated by a talented narrator whose accent is so perfect that you feel as if you’re in Brooklyn in 1915, living with the impoverished Nolan family. I would just turn on the audio-book and walk about with it in my pocket. It was great to listen to as I folded laundry, ironed, or prepared supper. When it was time to pedal a few miles on the exercise bike, the story kept me company.

Winter has eased enough to walk outside again, so I attach headphones to my cellphone and hit the sidewalk. As long as I stay away from streets with a lot of noisy traffic, listening is easy. I’m able to take longer walks, since there is something to focus on other than tired legs and feet. Today’s walk stretched into three miles, as I finished “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn”. Then I just sat out in the sunshine for awhile and thought about the challenges and joys of Francie Nolan in the novel.

If you’ve never tried an audio-book, you’re missing out on something special. Check with your local library to see what they offer. You can generally find it on your library’s web-site, under “e-books and downloads”. Overdrive, One Click Digital, and Hoopla are all companies that offer e-audio-books to libraries.