Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Frugal Chariot

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul.
Emily Dickinson
I am rich.  Oh, I don't mean in the monetary sense.  My family, like many families around the country, has been hit very hard with current economic unrest.  Our lifestyle has changed a great deal in the last couple of years.  We've never lived extravagently but we have always been able to afford the necessities of life and many of our wants.  Now our lives are...well...simpler.  We used to be able to travel a good deal.  We can no longer afford to do that...
Or can we?
Come to think of it, I have over 17,000 tickets to take our family nearly anywhere we want to go.  Just by opening the pages of a book, we have been able to sit on the four thrones of Cair Paravel in Narnia, flee the Nazis with Prince Michael of Hungary, go 20,000 leagues under the sea and to the center of the earth, and defend the abbey at Redwall.  We have traveled to the past and into the future.  We've met Benjamin Franklin, Julius Caesar, Millet and John Muir.  We've flown south with Honker the Canada goose and to Mars with Freddy the Pig.  We've stopped by woods on a snowy evening and gone down the road less traveled.
Most importantly we have been comforted by the words in The Living Book by our Lord who said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and by Paul when he encouraged us to, "Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
So many families I know are feeling the stress of hard times, whether economic, family troubles,  or health issues.  And while books cannot take away the reality of the situation, they can offer relief from the stress of the day, comfort in the loss, company in the sick room and a frugal chariot to other lands.
This frugal chariot is available to anyone with a bookshelf or a library card.  Little or no money is necessary.  Are you ready?  Let's go...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Why Try Audible This Week

As you know, I am a big fan of reading.  Reading silently and reading aloud make up a good part of our day.  Sometimes it's just hard, though, to get in as much reading time as we'd like especially this time of year when things are really gearing up on the farm.  We also spend much time a couple of days a week in the van.  Audio books have been a great solution for these times when we are yearning for a story but just can sit down to read one.

I have come to love my Audible membership.  So much so that I wanted to share it with you.  Audible offers a trial membership (click the link in the right column.)  During that time you have all the benefits of membership.  They offer a Daily Deal of an audio book at a very low price.  You can also rack up many audio books very inexpensively or even free as in wonderfully-done classics at Amazon.  This post tells how to get the most from your membership.

April is listener rewards month at Audible meaning you get $10 back if you buy 4 audio books with a regular price of $14.95...even if you get the audio books for free or almost.  In addition to that, this week (through 4/20/15) all titles are half price.  I'm adding some incredible titles to our audio library this month.

If you would like to try Audible, now's the time.  The link to the right (which is an affiliate link...all commissions support the library) will take you there.  If you decide to try Audible, let me know what you're "reading."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Reading Then and Now

I am directing your attention to this post by Andrew Kern.  I call this a don't even think about missing it article if you would like to reclaim a culture of reading.

By the way, the My Book House set he refers to is fabulous.  I have a complete 1970's set in the library and two complete sets of the original version set aside for future grandchildren.  This is a good investment, especially if you are short on space but want a collection of some of the best of children's literature.  Sets can often be found fairly inexpensively or you can piece one together.