Westerly Sun Column | Books Can Help You Through the Holidays

November 20, 2023

Whether you’re planning on traveling, hosting family, or even just keeping things quiet at home, chances are this week is a bit more hectic than usual. Setting aside the hullabaloo of Thanksgiving, this week marks the official beginning to the holiday season. No matter what the week holds for you, the library has the things you need — and didn’t know you needed — to get you through!

As usual, I’m convinced there is a book for every situation, and a great team of library staff to help you find the one for you. If you’re a tad … shall we say ... flustered planning your menu, cleaning house, chasing children, and trying to keep your head on straight, perhaps “How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing” by professional therapist K.C. Davis may be of some use. Alternately, books like “Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life” by Deepak Chopra could help calm the jumble of thoughts/anxieties in your head, and lower your stress level. If you feel like you don’t have time to read, throw on the audiobook while vacuuming or cooking. Sure, it’s another form of multitasking, but some studies have suggested that listening to books read aloud can be beneficial to mental health, so perhaps it’s worth it in the end!

There are books to help guide you through the holiday, as well. “Etiquette Rules!: A Field Guide to Modern Manners,” or “Emily Post’s Etiquette,” which was updated in 2022, will help guests and hosts alike navigate a variety of situations gracefully. As tensions can be high when family gets together, books like “In Control: No More Snapping at Your Family, Sulking at Work, Steaming in the Grocery Line, Seething in Meetings, Stuffing Your Frustration” by Redford Williams could help you manage difficult emotions. At the very least, feel-good reads like “The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living” by Louise Miller, or “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman can be a great distraction!

We’re here for more than just books, though. The library will be open on Friday if you need a computer to do some Black Friday shopping, a quiet space to get some work done, or simply a warm place to relax or escape the in-laws. Beginning on Saturday, Nov. 25, we’re once again offering Wreath Take & Make kits, which come with the basic supplies you need to create your own beautiful and festive holiday wreaths (including greens sourced from Wilcox Park)! There is a suggested donation of $15 per kit, and they are first-come, first-served, so plan on coming early to snag one. Since its Small Business Saturday, spend the day shopping the many, fabulous shops in town, and make your way back to the library for our annual tree-lighting at 4:30pm! We’ll enjoy carols with members of the Chorus of Westerly, as well as generously donated holiday treats and hot cocoa; it’s a great time for all ages, and a wonderful start to the season!

by Cassie Skobrak, Adult Services Librarian

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