Friday, December 27, 2013

More New Magazines Have Arrived!

More of the new magazine subscriptions have arrived. Today we'll look at some of the health-related titles you can find at the Pottsville Free Public Library.

First up, Arthritis Today. This title has three main sections: Your Health, which includes things like eye health, recent studies, working with kids, and losing weight; Your Self, which can include tips like feeling better in little ways, or healthier food choices; and Your Lift, which has interviews with people dealing with arthritis every day and how they manage. Foot pain and keeping warm in winter are just some of the topics in the January/February 2014 issue now at the library.

Gluten-Free Living is mostly packed with recipes, for adults and for kids. Beyond just recipes, however, there are also articles about living with celiac disease, different kitchen tools that can make life easier, and information from recent studies. The January/February 2014 issue has a Valentine's Day menu featuring Strawberry Salad and "Guilt-Free Brownies" the whole family can enjoy.

Yoga Journal is more than just the poses. The December 2013 issue includes an article about how to avoid catching a cold, non-alcoholic mixed drinks for get-togethers, new cookbooks, and reviews of books, CDs and DVDs. The Practice section focuses on one or two specific poses, such as the corpse pose (which is all about the subtleties).

Don't forget, there are other health-related magazines at the Pottsville Library as well! Titles like Prevention, Health, Weight Watchers, WebMD, and Diabetes Forecast all have useful articles to help you have your healthiest year in 2014. And all magazines can be checked out for one week, except the current issue.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Magazine Subscriptions Have Started!

We try to keep up with what our library patrons want to read. This year we have dropped a few magazine subscriptions that weren't getting much use, and we started several new subscriptions we think you might like to read. And the new 2014 subscriptions have already started to arrive, so let's get to know them a bit.

First up is Autism Spectrum Quarterly. This is shelved in the Parenting Collection area of the Children's Room, so be sure to look for it there. Articles about evidence-based research, management strategies, and how to deal with common issues can all be found in this journal. Take a look at the Winter 2013 issue, which has a holiday gift guide and tips for the holiday season.

Next up is Family Tree Magazine, with tips and guides to help you research your own family tree. The December 2013 issue features the best free websites to trace US ancestors, how to plan a trip to an ancestral homeland, and tricks to working with a research partner. There is also a section on holiday heritage activities, how to trace Filipino roots, and a glossary of genealogy-related acronyms and abbreviations.

More Magazine focuses its stories on women in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Articles might look at avoiding burnout at work, age-appropriate fashions and styles, medical issues (what medical procedures are over-prescribed?), and similar topics. The Dec./Jan. issue even has a cheat sheet so you can understand some of the buzz terms being used by younger people at holiday parties.

And the last title for today, Motorcyclist, well, that's pretty much self-explanatory! Reviews of street and off-road motorcycles and "superbikes", gear guides, stories of races, and personal trips make up just part of this magazine.

Many of the new titles will be featured on the display rack at the front of the Reference area in the near future, so keep your eyes open for them. In the meantime, they can be found in their boxes in the Magazine room. More titles are expected to arrive soon, and we'll talk about them here when they do. Have a great holiday season!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What Do You Want From a Book?

What do you think of when you think "book"? Is it words in ink on paper, compiled into bound portable reading units? Is it words on a screen (e-reader or tablet), a file that is downloaded from a seller or from a free site? Is it words spoken into your ear, a printed text read by the author or a performer, allowing you to "read" on your hour-long commute every day? All of these things qualify as a "reading a book" today, and each has its fans and detractors.

The question that frequently pops up, however, is what else a book SHOULD be. Should a book take advantage of today's constant connectivity to allow you to see a video that is relevant to the paragraph you just read? Should a book be something you can jot notes in and have those notes immediately available for other readers to see? Should a book include music inspired by or part of the story or text? Some of these things already appear in "books" aimed at beginning or struggling readers, children, and others trying to connect a printed word with its sound and meaning. (Take a look at BookFlix, part of the POWER Library Network, available to anyone with a Pottsville Library card.) But a number of articles over the years have tried to explain how books for the general adult reader could be made so much better if only authors and publishers would make use of the various technologies and social networking options available to us today. And yet, many of the proposed changes to books just don't seem to catch on.

Do you want to have a video, music, or another reader play or talk to you while you are reading? Do you read to escape interruptions and the constant clicking that we do when using a computer? When does a book cease to be a book, and become a movie, or a game, or a conversation? Maybe the answer lies in what kind of book it is: a biography of a musician might make sense to include samples of songs he or she recorded; a book about birds might want to include the bird songs or videos of birds in flight.

In the meantime, print books continue to be produced and read in large numbers, showing that some people still just want to shut out the rest of the world while they immerse themselves in a story. E-readers serve the same purpose, focusing on the story without lights flashing or bells whistling. And if they want to talk to others about it, readers join book clubs or start conversations with their friends. Here's to hoping we will always have the option to read a book in whatever way we prefer.