Beat the indoor winter blahs with library’s abounding books

Has winter got you down?

Take heart. Spring is coming. America’s most iconic weather forecaster, the Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, told this to the president of the groundhog club after not seeing his shadow at Gobbler’s Knob in the town northeast of Pittsburgh.

Legend dictates that if Phil does not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, there will be early, springlike weather.

But until then, if you have the winter blahs and are looking for things to do indoors, the Bartholomew County Public Library can help.

Do you enjoy reading? Romances, science fiction, classics? Crafts, self-help, pets? Sports, travel, biographies?

Browsing through the stacks could yield some interesting finds. Would you like several books on one topic or one book on several topics? How do you choose?

So many books and too little time is usually my experience. But a cold evening spent curled up with a good book is a wonderful way to pass the time.

Or are you tired of sitting? Check out some exercise DVDs and get going. Move some furniture and walk with Leslie Sansone or do yoga with Jillian Michaels.

Are you creative? Keep warm while making a new afghan. The library has books and DVDs that will teach you how to knit, crochet, sew, make jewelry, furniture and more.

Turn on your oven and bake something yummy. At the same time, you will warm up your house and make it smell good. With close to 2,000 cookbooks to choose from, you can try a different recipe every day and not even make a dent in our collection.

Clean something or get rid of things. Winter is a wonderful time to get spring cleaning out of the way. Make yourself feel good in a short amount of time by getting your home spiffied up. Authors Julie Morganstern will help you “SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life” and Don Aslett will help you do it with a “Weekend Makeover.”

If you should decide to venture out, the library has programs that appeal to all ages and interests. Get a head start on planning your garden, listen to stories or music that will have you smiling and tapping your toes. Check the library’s online calendar to see what’s being offered each month.

Do a kind deed for another person. One of the best ways to make yourself feel better is to help someone else. You can share some of those baked goods that are piling up in your kitchen or keep someone warm with your knitted and crocheted afghans. “Everyday Kindness” by Stephanie Dowrick and “The Power of Nice” by Linda Kaplan Thaler will inspire you to do a good deed.

If these ideas don’t get you motivated, ask others on the library staff. Don’t let winter get the best of you. The library has books, DVDs, magazines, programs and online resources on just about anything you can imagine.

Michele Bottorff is a reference librarian at the Bartholomew County Public Library and can be reached at