As many of us are homebound for awhile and public services are closed, I thought I would pass on some ideas and open up some dialogue around bookish ways to stay reading and active! Here are some ideas I came up with. Have you thought of other ways to enjoy books during this season that you could share in the comments? Happy reading everyone!
- Public Library Apps for Ebooks and Audio Books
With public libraries shut down, if you have a tablet or smart phone, you can download Libby or Overdrive to access ebooks and audio books. All that’s needed is the app on your device and your library card number. It’s a tremendous resource that can keep you reading and listening indefinitely!
- New Book Order
Why not treat the whole family to a brand new shiny book each from Amazon or Indigo. Check with your local independent bookstore as well, because they may have closed for the time being, but would still appreciate your business, and be able to deliver. Often they will have a phone number to call if you have questions about selections. Placing a book order can be a nice family activity and the anticipation of the arrival of the order can feel so hopeful!
- Bookshelf Work and Pleasure
If you feel like reading, pull down one of those books that you bought but never got around to reading–they have been patiently waiting for you! If you feel like a project, go through your collection and do some weeding. Make some room for the new books you just ordered! If there are board games on the bottom shelf, get them out, dust them off and play them, although you may want to pass on Pandemic and Taboo for now (too soon) and stick to Sorry, Scrabble, or Sequence.
- Coffee Table Books and Travel Books
Have a look at those giant books with gorgeous pictures and some writing that you were given as a gift or picked up on a trip but haven’t looked at in ages. Put them back on the coffee table! Page through the Travel books and fondly remember your vacations to those locations.
- Reading Aloud
Peruse your shelf for books that are delightful to read out loud like Picture Books, Children’s chapter books, or series, or anything really, and take turns reading to each other or to the whole family.
If you have a bunch of these and haven’t used them to discover new recipes lately, here is your chance. Pick one new recipe from each book you own, and if you can’t find any recipes that excite you in a book, put that one on the weeding pile too!
- Crossword Puzzle Books
Grocery stores and pharmacies (which will still be open) have magazine racks that include puzzle books, and if you don’t enjoy crosswords, there are ‘variety’ versions that have NO crosswords and lots of other puzzles like crypto-quizzes, anacrostics, word searches, etc. It’s a great way to keep your brain exercised while taking a break from a screen!
Do you have boxes of old photos just waiting to be sorted and sifted through? Are there treasures hiding there that deserve to be selected and featured? There are online services that will make a scrapbook for you if you send them an envelope full of photos, or ‘do-it-yourself’ by accessing any of the online photo book apps. You can have hours of fun working on a project with your family, or by yourself, while creating keepsakes for the future!
- Craft Books, Knitting Books, Construction Books, Home Decorating Books, Sketching Books, Art Books, Sewing Books, Home Tidying and Organising Books, etc.
Maybe it’s time to finish those crafty projects you once started or begin new ones while listening to an audio book as you work!
- Random or Planned “Reading Hour”
Whether you randomly ring a bell or plan for a particular hour of the day, why not have everyone drop what they are doing and read uninterrupted for an hour. It might even end up going a bit longer…:)
- Write a Book
Well, maybe not a book, but certainly a paragraph, or a short story, or an illustrated children’s book–throw out an interesting story starter like these, and when finished, share your creations by reading them aloud:
-What if you could be a household appliance? What would you want to be?
-What if you could spend twenty-four hours with anyone in the world?
-What if you could begin one new tradition in your family?
-Would you rather wear uncomfortable shoes or a hat that’s too tight?
-Would you rather live a life of luxury or be known for your generosity?
- Dictionary Game
Do you have a dictionary on that bookshelf? Have one member of the family be the leader and find a word that they don’t know in the dictionary. Have them write the definition on a piece of paper. Have the other players write the word (spell it for them) on a piece of paper, and have them each come up with their own definition for it. The leader then collects all of the papers, mixes them with the real definition, and reads them out in random order. Players choose which definition they think is the correct one, and the leader keeps track of who chose which definition by putting the person’s initials on that piece of paper. Read through the papers twice before voting. The leader gets two points if no one selects the correct definition. The players get two points for each player who chose their made up definition. A player who does choose the correct definition gets three points. Rotate being the leader each round. Have fun!