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?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

August 22nd, 2016

I Scream, You Scream…

Ice cream bookAugust seems like the perfect summer month to enjoy a sweet and cold treat like ice cream to combat the sweltering heat, but when did people first start eating this creamy dessert? Interestingly, the history of ice cream is filled with urban legends that can’t quite be proven, but each story contains at least a small bit of truth.

In the very beginning, the Romans and Persians would mix snow or chipped ice with mainly fruit or honey flavorings to create something like our water ices now. They would do this when the weather was hot and used the snow saved in Persian underground chambers known as ‘yakchal’ or taken from the snowfall that still remained at the top of the mountains.

Ice creamCream ice or ice cream seems to trace its origins back to China, although nobody can nail down the date. We do know that a frozen mixture of milk and rice was used in China around 200 BC and ice cream is mentioned being served at the Mogul court in the fourteenth century. Many believe that knowledge of ice cream could have spread overland along the Silk Road routes from China through the Middle East and into Italy, but the knowledge of how to freeze things by the combination of ice and salt was even more important.

Ice cream bookIce cream’s European debut was probably in Italy in the latter part of the seventeenth century. There are many stories surrounding the Italian duchess Catherina de’ Medici being credited with introducing ice cream to France when she married the Duke of Orleans. Ice cream and flavored ices were still the desserts for royalty and the rich up until the mid-eighteenth and nineteenth century, as access to an ice house and expensive ingredients such as sugar were needed. French-style ice cream is made with egg yolks, whereas the next step in the journey takes ice cream to the Americas where what we now know as Philadelphia-style ice cream is made with either no eggs or egg whites only.

Ice cream bookThe first known instance of ice cream being served in American occurred in Maryland in 1744, when Governor Thomas Bladen put it on his dessert table. It was May, and the frozen dessert astonished his guests. Thomas Jefferson himself helped to popularize ice cream in this country when he started having it served at the President’s House in Washington. One of only ten recipes surviving in Thomas Jefferson’s own hand is a vanilla ice cream recipe attributed to his French butler, Adrien Petit.


Ice cream bookThese days, ice cream is a beloved dessert in the US. The average American annually consumes about 22 pounds of ice cream and 10% of milk in the US goes towards making it. It’s been estimated that there have been over a 1,000 different ice cream flavors created, but the most popular flavors still tend to be chocolate and vanilla in polls…although some more creative flavors like cookies and cream and cookie dough also tend to lead the list.

No matter what flavor you choose, a cone or bowl of this cool treat will always be a sweet memory of summer.

What’s your favorite flavor?

Tags: , ,