August 29th, 2016

So Much to Read, So Little Time!

mobile-605422_640The other day, I found myself in the rare situation of having a day off work with absolutely zero plans and believe me, I took advantage of it! I ran errands, weeded my garden, gave the house a thorough cleaning, put the finishing touches on a quilt, and read an entire book! How on earth could I do it? I’ll tell you my secret: audiobooks!

I listen to audiobooks basically anytime my ears are free. They are a great way to pass the time when you’re doing chores, driving, or anytime your hands are occupied, but your mind isn’t. You can get done whatever you need to get done while also reading a book. Talk about multi-tasking!

Audiobooks have all of the same benefits of more traditional reading, no comprehension or quality is lost by listening to the words rather than reading them.  They are especially great for all of us who feel we’re just too busy to read. If you’re listening to an average-length audiobook (about 11 hours) only on your 15 minute drive to and from work each day, you’ll still have your book done in only about 3 weeks.

The library has several different ways to access audiobooks and I use them all regularly:

1.       You can borrow CD books from any branch. We have both fiction and non-fiction audiobooks for children, teen, and adults! All you have to do is check them out as you would a print book and just pop them into any device that plays CDs and let the narrator simply read the book to you.

2.       We also have 3 different ways to check out audiobooks digitally: through OverDrive, Hoopla, and OneClickDigital. It has been many a time that I’ve been about to leave on a long drive and I’ve quickly pulled up OverDrive on my phone, searched the available audiobooks, downloaded it to my phone, and I had a nice fresh book to listen to for my drive. All from the comfort of my home!

Hoopla has the added benefit that there are no holds, so any book that it carries is available for download immediately.

Our website has how-to guides on how to setup an account and access these books, or you can come to any branch to have a librarian show you in person. It’s easy!

Did you know that the average audiobook is 11 hours of listening? So as you’re gearing up for your next family vacation and looking to keep everyone happy and occupied on that long car drive, consider an audiobook!

Who is your favorite narrator?

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August 15th, 2016

Olympics History

rio-1512643_640Every two years, I get pumped for the Olympics. I put my American flag shirt on, put a viewing party together, and spend two weeks glued to the TV or my phone.

My favorite part is the opening ceremony, which always gives me goose bumps. It gets me to start wondering: what were the first Olympics like?

In 776 BC (over 2,700 years ago!), the Olympics were first created as a religious festival, in honor of Zeus, the king of the Gods. Just like the modern games, the ancient Olympic events happened every four years in at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia, a valley near the city of Elis. Olympia was named after Mt. Olympos, the highest mountain in mainland Greece, and where the great Greek gods and goddesses were to have resided, according to mythology. All city-states of Greece were to attend. The Olympics had a “sacred truce” where feuding was put on hold for a month to guarantee safe travel for the athletes.

The first Olympic Games wasn’t too exciting. It had only one event: a sprint. Throughout the centuries, more events began appearing at the Games, including long jump, discus, javelin throws, wrestling, boxing, and chariot racing. Winners were considered heroes of their city-states, similar to how we treat our Olympic winners. While they probably didn’t get a Nike contract, they were idolized by citizens, received free food and libations, and gained access to important parties and dinners.

Crowds up to 40,000 would flock to the Games in order to catch a glimpse of the athletes. These spectators consisted of only men and unmarried women; married women were not allowed to participate or watch. However, there was a separate, smaller event in honor of Hera, the wife of Zeus, where women could participate.

The Olympic Games lasted for nearly 12 centuries. During the mid-2nd century AD, the Roman Empire conquered Greece and while the games continued, they didn’t match up to the initial splendor of the first Olympic games. Eventually in 393 AD, Emperor Theodosis I, a Christian, banned all “pagan” festivals, including the Games.

For 1,503 years, there were no Olympic Games, until a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin presented the idea in 1894. In 1896, the Games restarted again in Athens, with 14 countries participating. Now, over 13,000 athletes perform in the Olympic Games, with a new city acting as the host for the Games every two years.

If you want to learn more about the Olympics, be sure to check out what your local CCPL branch has to offer. There are books for kids of all age groups, such as “What are the Summer Olympics?”, “Ancient Greece and the Olympics”, and “G is for Gold Medal: an Olympic Alphabet”.

For adults, there’s the ever-popular “The Boys in the Boat”; “The Complete Book of the Olympics”; “Triumph: the untold story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics”. We also have the DVD “The Real Olympics: A history of the ancient & modern Olympic games” and a list of memoirs written by current and former Olympic athletes.

What’s your favorite Olympic sport, athlete, or anecdote?

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