Happiness is…

A very clear way to define happiness is to look at where I spend my time. I can honestly say that I am physically in a a library at least once a week. I love getting audio books, reading magazines, checking the selection of music cds, reviewing the “New” book shelf and just relishing the feeling of being surrounded by so many ideas.

Doobie Brothers cd at the libraryIn addition to visiting my local libraries (yes, I have several favorites), I also check the online books and download them to my pc or other device. So, for many of the books I acquire, I don’t need to walk in a door – I just sit here and click, choose and checkout!

I think we all have places we go that make us happy. Some people visit churches, stadiums, mom’s house, stables, shopping malls, sailboats, beaches… know what I mean? For me it’s libraries.

Listen Up: Reading for a Lifetime

I adore books. I love the stories within and the travels they take me on. I appreciate authors. They write and hand off the story to a willing audience. I receive and am delivered to another place and time.

audiobooks at my libraryIn the past two month I’ve read the following books:

  • The Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Conner Browne
  • The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • The 6th Man by David Balduci
  • One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • The Unlikely Disciple: A sinner’s semester at America’s holiest university by Kevin Roose

Ok, in actuality, I listened to most of them on cd while I drove to work, cleaned my house, took walks or worked out. I was handed The Unlikely Disciple in paperback format and it took forever to read. I don’t have time to sit still.

But while I’m in motion – oh my, let me have my way with them.

In a recent blog post titled “Audio books are not cheating” the author contents that by the time she has the freedom to relax and read, it’s the end of the day and she’s exhausted. I agree.

What I most love about audio books is that I can’t cheat. If I’m reading a book and the author expounds on the drapery, gets too deep into philosophy or the scene is too creepy, I usually skim the page and get to a new section with more dialogue and less description.

When listening to an audio book, I never fast forward because I could miss something important and regret it and then have to backtrack. I’ve found that I remember an audio book with a clarity and awareness that I don’t have with a book. I welcome stop signs, red lights and going slow so I can hear just one more chapter or tale.

When I check out audio books from the library, I often check out 4-5 books just in case I don’t like the 1) bo0k, 2) reader’s voice 3) the cds have scratches and tend to skip and 4) in case I’ve already heard it before.

So, that’s my story – and I’m sticking to it!

Been to your local library lately?

I went to the library today and returned 3 books, 4 books on cd and contributed 4 magazines to the recycle table.

Library books on shelvesI left the library with 5 books on cd, 3 magazines from the recycle table, one book and 2 magazines (due in 7 days).

When I arrived at 9:58 am for the 10:00 am opening, there were 16 people milling around outside! Moms with strollers, students with assignments, homeless men and women and others like me … wanted to check in my items and check out some more.

Do you go to the library much these days? If you do, you’ll see that the computers are filled up with patrons as soon as the doors open. And you’ll see many more people than ever before wanting to find a place to read, work and relax.

Been there lately?