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. 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 a 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 — will take place on Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11. Friday’s potluck and preview sale for members starts at 5 p.m. The Saturday sale for the public will run from 9 a.m. to 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 July 27 from 4:30 to 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.
Teens music
coding event
Fifth- through 12th-graders will want to save the date of next Thursday, June 28, from 4 to 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.
Tween gaming
Free gaming for youth in the fourth through eighth grades is next Monday, June 25, from 4 to 5 p.m. Enjoy Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.
Teen gaming
Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for teens in the seventh through 12th grades. Enjoy Xbox 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 to 11 a.m. Demos and casting practice takes place at Yamaguchi Park on Thursday, June 28, from 9 to 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 to 3 p.m., youngsters from kindergarten through fifth grade 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 game
The free role-playing game for seventh- through 12th-graders takes place Wednesday, June 27, from 3:30 to 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 to 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 is required.
Adult education new summer schedule
Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) is operating on a summer schedule — from 2 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Come to your library to get help with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.
Tech sessions
Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Note there will be no Tech Time today, June 21.
Computer/technology classes
Join us on Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. for free sessions to learn a technology skill or application. There will be no class today, June 21. On June 28 we’ll review tools to protect your privacy online.
Family storytimes
Every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. and Saturday from 9:30 to 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 the 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.
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.
For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at

This story was posted on June 25, 2018.