Reference Couch: Winter is Coming

The Reference Couch

In Which A Librarian Tries to Solve Your Personal Problems with Literature

Q: I almost went bananas last winter. It was soooo long and sooo cold. What can I do to keep from being bored this winter?


Already Cold


Dear Already Cold,

I feel you. Last winter was harsh and also didn’t end until around June. Like everyone else, I got really into Game of Thrones and shudder whenever a character warns, “Winter is coming.” Up North, that phrase feels all too real. (BTW, you can get Game of Thrones to read or watch or listen to at the library).

But fear not, winter up here doesn’t have to be the 45th Parallel of Peril. TADL can entertain you for all seven or eight months of the frosty season. Here are just a few things I can recommend to stave of winter boredom:

Get Out:


The library has events year-round, like showing movies for our Books to Movies program or meeting at The Filling Station to drink beer and talk books for our Books & Brewskis club. From author readings to cooking classes to yoga, one of our six community libraries always has something going on, so brace yourself against those icy winds and come on over.

Stay In:

If (when?) you reach that point in winter where you will only agree to participate in things you can do while sitting under your ratty old afghan on your couch, you can also reach the library from home by checking out ebooks or curling up and watching movies (you can watch movie previews now from our website because we’re awesome). Tom from Sight & Sound recommends the following films for chilly winter nights:

wintermovies1. The Cuckoo (Foreign) 2. Picnic 3. Blood Simple 4. Midnight in Paris 5. Rare Birds

Of course, you can also read books under blankets. There are a lot of great winter-y novels, from cozy to bone chilling. Here’s just a sample:winterreads

1. Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 2. Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell  3. Wintering by Kate Moses

Get a Hobby:

As long as the winters are up here you could spend your time becoming an expert in any new-fangled thing you fancy. Like knitting, skiing, indoor gardening, card games, or re-organizing your closet. You could find religion, get killer buns, AND repair your snowmobile with material from the library. Actually, if you decide to come out of the house again after the thaw, you should  just stroll through our non-fiction section. Every time I walk back there, I come out with a new zest for learning Farsi or canoeing or making crafts out of cat hair (seriously, see below):


1. The Ukulele Handbook 2. Jillian Michaels Killer Buns & Thighs 3. Home Cheese Making 4. Crafting with Cat Hair

Throw A Party:

We have A TON of cookbooks: for your crockpot, for your vegan brother, for your foodie friend that gets a little hoity toity at dinner parties. Bake it, fry it, mix it up.  And when you don’t fit into your pants anymore, you can check out 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.


1. Winter Cocktails 2. Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food 3. One Pot 4. Homemade Decadence 5. Simple Thai Food 6. Preserving by the Pint

Since you’ve made all that food, you might as well throw a party. And Sight & Sound Tom also has some ideas for your wintertime music playlist while you entertain guests:wintermusic

1. Bill Frisell/Big Sur 2. Asgeir/In the Silence (Tom also highly recommends the Icelandic version, Dýrð í dauðaþögn ) 3. John Fullbright/From the Ground Up 4. Elton John/Tumbleweed Connection 5.  Natalie Merchant/Nonesuch

Whew! I got a little over-excited, reader, about all that is available at the library. It might take you until mid-December just to read to the end of this post. But I hope you’ll stay warm and stay busy and, if you make any cat hair crafts, please don’t bring them to us as gifts. We’re good.


Annie at the Reference Couch

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