Start Planning!

We’re more than three weeks away from 2015, but now is the time to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions. If you jumble something together at the last minute, you’re more inclined to quit faster, I think.  But what if you took some time to plan—to really plan something—and then hit it full force on January 1st? All of the time you put in might be great motivation, so let’s get planning.

EASIER RESOLUTIONS

Instead of trying to make yourself over day by day, why not work on your surroundings this year? Clean up that clutter, get organized and make your life simple for once. We have a wealth of great books and magazines to get you started on organization. Purchase attractive baskets to put all of your loose bills, schedules and ticket stubs in. Clean out your front closet and buy some nice shelves or containers (at Boxing Day sales!) so that everyone has their own space to put hats, mitts and scarves. Your closet will look amazing, and you’ll save time cleaning up after everyone.

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MORE TIME

 If you want more time to do the things you really care about, you have to make the time. That means scheduling your free time as an important part of your daily activities, not just hoping you’ll get to put your feet up at the end of the day, or finally make it to the gym. Part of making resolutions work is having a way to incorporate them into your life so that you’ll stick with them. You won’t shop for that healthy food if you only have ten minutes to get everything for the week because of a crazy schedule, so really factor in how much you do, and make sure you leave a slot free just for you.  We have some superb books on time management at the library, so drop in to pick one up so you can read it over the holidays. Incorporate one or two ideas and that might be all you need to finally start that art project you’ve been wanting to try!

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BETTER EATING = FEELING BETTER

One thing we all tend to do during the holidays is overeat. That leaves us feeling bloated and upset with ourselves when January rolls around. Pants that you can’t even squeeze into anymore might be good incentive to get you exercising and eating right for a few weeks, but what about when February arrives and you’re sick of veggies and fish? There are so many wonderful cookbooks that come out every month, and we love pouring through them. Make a plan now to research the types of food you’d like to eat (vegetarian, gluten-free, low-fat etc.), and find a book at the library to try. If you have a plan for a new cookbook each month, it might make you excited about making healthy food. Try out each recipe and blog about them or post your creations on Facebook or Instagram. You might get a whole lot of people interested in your idea and sharing recipes!

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Whatever you choose to do for yourself in 2015, stop being so hard on yourself. And save yourself some money by dropping into the library to get the latest books, DVDs, magazines and more. You might even find a fun program to boost your creativity! We have it all at the library.

Forest of Reading®

Forest of Reading® will begin in December, and we’re looking forward to it! For those who have never participated, it’s a great reading program for kids that allows them to choose a winning book. And the best part? All of the books are by Canadian authors or illustrators.

bluespruce2015 Blue Spruce 2015

How does it work? Starting in December, kids can come in and register in their specific reading category (by grade or reading level), and pick up their first book. Then, they have almost five months to read the selections. Each category includes 10 books, and except for Blue Spruce, we ask that kids read at least 8 of the 10 books in order to be able to vote. Because the Blue Spruce category is comprised of picture books, we don’t think it’s too difficult to get through all 10.

express2015Silver Birch Express 2015

I’ll be visiting schools starting in January to talk about the program, but it’s so much fun, we like to get started in December. Once your reader registers at the front desk, they can choose a book to take home to start reading. We’ll give them a brochure to keep track of everything….because it’s a long way until April and voting night.

nonfic2015Silver Birch Non-Fiction 2015

Then, we’ll get ready for voting night! Everyone who has read enough books in their category can vote. We ask them to mark their finished books in our binder so we can keep track of everyone eligible…..just like a real voting night! But the best part? There’s a party, too!

 fiction2015Silver Birch Fiction 2015

Everyone who registers and starts Forest of Reading® can come to the party. There will be plenty of cake, a fun contest, and we’ll announce the winners from our library vote. After that, we send off our list to Toronto to be tabulated with the rest of the province. It’s so exciting!

redmaple2015Red Maple 2015

Once all of the votes are in, the winners will be announced.  This is the only award given to a Canadian author or illustrator that only kids to get vote on, so it’s a big deal for everyone nominated. We’ll be sure to post the final winners in the library as well. Drop in to find out more about this great reading program for kids.

Choose

When I was a kid, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series was one of the most popular set of books in our school library. If they didn’t have one of the books, I either went to our public library, or convinced someone to get me to a bookstore so I could buy the one I was looking for. It wasn’t just “one” book; each one could be read over and over, each time with a different path and a different ending. These were popular with everyone I knew, and it’s not surprising that they’ve kept up their popularity with young readers even today.

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The creator of the series, R. A. Montgomery, recently passed away at the age of 78 at his home in Vermont. He was a vital part of the series, including the website, and even went forth to create a series of video games that became popular in the 1980’s. I’m sure that the newer books have been written by a number of authors, but Montgomery will always be a vital part of the series, and readers will miss him.

We often get asked for these in the library, or something similar, even today. The outdated book covers aren’t even a deterrent for kids, which is unusual in this day of modern covers. It’s the idea of the this type of reading….being able to move back and forth through a book, making choices like they are a part of the outcome, that draws young readers in and keeps them coming back.  I think an adult version of this would be fun.

Did you read these when you were younger? Or are your children fans of the series?  We’d love to hear what you think!

Published in: on November 19, 2014 at 3:41 am  Comments (2)  
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One Book, One Community!

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Next year, we’ll be participating in the “One Book, One Community” project with all of the libraries in Lanark County. It’s an exciting endeavor that hopes to get people from all five communities reading the same book. We’ll be hosting events around the book, prompting discussion, and encouraging our communities to interact in various ways.

This week, we’re beginning the book selection. You can drop into any one of the local libraries (Carleton Place Public Library, Perth & District Union Public Library, Smiths Falls Public Library, Mississippi Mills Library, and Lanark Highlands Public Library) and fill out a quick ballot for your selection. The theme for 2015 will be AGING, so keep that in mind when selecting a book you’d like to suggest. It doesn’t have to be a Canadian book, and it can be from any genre, as long as it deals with aging in some way. We’re looking forward to seeing what books you suggest, and hope we’ll be able to announce the winning book in the near future. Then, we’ll be getting many copies of the book to make available to the public to read. Keep watching here or at the library for more information as time moves on.

What would your suggestion be for the One Book, One Community project this year?

The Book Olympics!

If you’ve ever wondered how those books you read are bought and sold right from the start, this could be for you. Each year, there are large book fairs held throughout the United States, as well as in Germany and other places overseas. At these book fairs, agents, publishers, authors and editors meet over the course of a few days to wheel and deal. Popular books are sold to foreign publishers, agents bring their latest and greatest finds and try to sell them off to potential publishing houses, and yes, there are even some great author readings and signings. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of these cities during a book fair, you might take in a workshop or get in a long line to have that best-seller signed by a favourite author. It’s an exciting time, for both authors, publishers and readers.

pbs-master675Miami Dade College

PBS has decided they’ll try something fun this year and stream live coverage of the Miami Book Fair on their station November 21st – 23rd.  Producers are promising it to be Olympic-style coverage, with popular hosts dropping into various venues and events throughout the course of the fair. While it’s never really been done before, PBS knows their audience base has a high percentage of readers, and they felt this would appeal to viewers, even though book fairs generally are not the source of wild publicity.

You can read more about the event on PBS here.

 

Published in: on November 13, 2014 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Best Books!

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll know that the end of any year is the best time for lists. Amazon.ca has announced their list of best books of the year….so far. Who knows? Maybe there will be a few coming out this month and next that will be added to the list.

 

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Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte (HarperCollins)
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (Hamish Hamilton)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
A Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman (William Morrow)
The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison (Graywolf Press)
The Martian by Andy Weir (Crown)
The Quick by Lauren Owen (McClelland and Stewart)
The Bees by Laline Paull (Ecco)
Console Wars by Blake J. Harris (Dey Street Boys)
Ping-Pong Diplomacy by Nicholas Griffin (Scribner)
Climate Changed by Philippe Squarzoni (Harry N. Abrams)
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker (HarperCollins)
Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (Belknap Press)
The Secret World of Oil by Ken Silverstein (Verso)
Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture by Erez Aiden (Riverhead)
Young Money by Kevin Roose (Grand Central Publishing)
The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld (Harper)
Euphoria by Lily King (HarperCollins)
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (Grove Press)
Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow (Random House)
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (Knopf Canada)
The Troop by Nick Cutter (Gallery Books)
The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (Knopf)
I must admit, I’ve only read two from this list, but I think I’ll pick up a few more before the year is out to see what I think. How many have you read? Do you think there are any great books missing?
Published in: on November 6, 2014 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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