Vandriel: This is our time!

Caroline Vandriel writes a monthly column discussing her latest read

Introverts of the world, rejoice! This is the time that we have been training for all our lives! We’ve got this!

But even introverts need stuff to do while at home, or trying to find entertainment for the kids so that they don’t drive you crazy. Thankfully a lot of companies and organizations are making online resources available for free. So while you hunker down and support local restaurants by ordering delivery, here are some great options!

Obviously the library’s online resources are a great place to start. The cloudlibrary has several genres available to browse through, but do yourself a favour and set the filter to “Available now” prior to starting your search – you will save yourself the frustration of being told that your choice will be available in 143 days! With the filter set, I was able to locate something in my favorite genre within minutes. As a courtesy to other readers, please hit the “Return” button if you have finished reading your book before the 21 days are up.

People tell me that audiobooks are great for when you are driving long distances, but they don’t work well for me. The last time I drove and listened to an audiobook, a tense, spy-thriller, I ended up with two speeding tickets! However, it might be safer now in the comfort of my home, with RBdigital. Not only do they have a ton of audiobooks so that you and the family can gather around and listen to a book together, but they also carry magazines and graphic novels.

Always wanted to learn a new language? More time at home and Pronunciator give you the opportunity to do so! With many languages to choose from, you could be fluent in Arabic, Mandarin, Danish, or Swahili (or all of them) by the time you can safely go out and be social again. You could even learn American Sign Language!

Binge watch guilt-free! Last month I borrowed a DVD from the library, a British television series called Shakespeare and Hathaway. It’s about a mismatched pair of private detectives whose last names are, you guessed it, Shakespeare and Hathaway. It’s quirky, and funny, with a whole lot of Shakespearean trivia and quotations thrown in. I liked it so much that I signed up for Britbox (paid subscription) to finish the series. These days there are all sorts of subscription viewing available – you’re bound to find something you like if you look long enough.

You don’t have to go out to be entertained. Links to all sorts of online freebies for all ages and interests are popping up on Facebook. I am very thankful that so many businesses are taking the opportunity to build goodwill by offering free stuff, rather than taking the opportunity to fatten their wallets. Authors are providing online storytimes. The Kennedy Centre has posted videos on Youtube of Lunchtime Doodles with their artist in residence, Mo Willems. Churches, like the Emerge Church and Alliance Community Church in Sylvan Lake, are posting church services and children’s Sunday school on their Facebook and web pages.

Now remember, introverts, just because we love the new reality of working from home in our pyjamas, doesn’t mean that everyone is happy about it. Connect with your extrovert friends – they may be suffering from hug withdrawal. Check on your neighbours, practice social distancing, wash your hands, shop local, be kind and stay well.

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