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Processing books—sounds a bit dry, but one of my favorite tasks.  Opening boxes of books, deciding if my original decision as to which library gets which book is still valid, holding them, looking at the dust jacket, skimming the book (not the same as reading an Amazon description or Kirkus review!), then getting to the nuts and bolts—barcoding, stamping, pocketing, spine label creating, wrapping the book, and finally having it ready to check out.  Most of the time, we have them ready to go out the day they arrive, unless it isn’t to be released for a week or so, per the publisher’s request.

            This past week, the box was diverse. The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon is an explanation and encouragement of reading aloud, as one chapter heading says, from nursery school to the nursing home. From suggestions what to read to recent studies that show the importance of hearing a parent’s voice, even if they are reading from a textbook to babies in a NICU, to calming frightened dogs in a shelter, there is science and magic in reading aloud for both the reader and the listener.

            The Eulogist: A novel by Terry Gamble was a given to order as it pertained to the underground railroad and Ohio, but little did I know it would have much closer ties, as the main characters not only lived in Cincinnati for some time, but also Ripley in the 1830s. Centered on the life of a brother and sister from Ireland, it is a tale of the culture of the time—danger, race, religious zeal and displacement.

            For the readers of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mysteries, happy days! The next in the series is out, titled Golden Tresses of the Dead. A somewhat hard to describe series, as the heroine is only twelve years old, loves chemistry, lives in a rather run-down but once glorious house in England, and solves cases with the help of the house gardener, yet it works. Sometimes Flavia is very much a pre-teen, but her insight and observations into family, friends and stranger relationships, as well as running up to her chemistry lab to solve crimes has the series in the adult section here at the library. 

I hope everyone is staying warm during this cold snap, and of course, highly recommend having books and movies to pass the time while it is too chilly to be outside for long. Stop in, say hi, we’re glad to see you.