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A Note on Current Times

This blog is meant to be light-hearted and about books and reading, but once in a while, the real world creeps in. We find ourselves in a strange and frightening time and while social distancing is, perhaps, not so unusual for us bookworms, the sense of uncertainty and feeling slightly trapped is new. We live in an age of 24 hour news coverage that can be maddening at the best of times. Yet we also live in a time in which, for many of us, books, TV and films are in almost limitless supply at our fingertips, while we are all being sensible and staying home as much as possible (right? RIGHT?). These times are worrying and lives and livelihoods are on the line, so losing yourselves in the frivolity of entertainment may seem unnatural, but especially now distraction is what we need. I won't add my own list of recommendations, because there are already endless lists out there and I don't think I could improve upon them, but I did want to share a few resources you might enjoy, if you don't use them already. Many of these are free or inexpensive. Stay safe and let's all be respectful and protective of the most vulnerable in our community. Kindness can be contagious, too:-)

1. Overdrive is an app you can connect to your library card and which allows you to borrow digital content (ebooks/audiobooks).

2. Bookbub and Fussy Librarian send daily newsletters for discounted ebooks (usually around $0.99-$1.99)

3. Chirp also has a daily newsletter sending discounted audiobooks you can purchase and listen to through their app.

4. Project Gutenberg offers countless books for free.

5. Many museums and cultural sites worldwide (such as the Smithsonian Museums or Met Museum) have made significant parts of their collection available for viewing online and national parks and monuments have cameras which allow a bit of armchair travel.

I'd love any other suggestions!

Also, if you are able and would like to contribute in any way, here are a few organizations which are doing important work at this time:

1. Feed America

2. Doctors Without Borders

3. Save the Children

4. No Kid Hungry

5. GiveDirectly

6. American Red Cross

7. Donate blood and supplies at hospitals and food banks (but please inquire about the correct procedure to prevent risk to anyone).

8. Purchase locally and support independent businesses.

9. If possible, tip delivery people well.

10. Be kind to cashiers/pharmacists/doctors/nurses/EVERYONE! we all need it and not just now:-)