Adventures at Home: Off-screen (Mostly)

People have been sending me cool ideas of things to do at home, and I’ve been collecting them to share. Maybe you’ll enjoy some of them, too!

There are so many, I plan to divide them into multiple posts. First up: things to do off-screen.

Here’s one of my favorites: reading.

Have any books you have around the house you’ve been meaning to read? This may be the perfect time. Pull some off the shelf, and start with any that calls to you.

Need a new book? This is the perfect time to buy anything from my publisher, Running Wild Press. They have put all their published catalog on sale for pennies above cost for paperback and 99 cents for eBooks* through May 1, 2020. You can find contemporary and historical fiction, memoir and other nonfiction, and eclectic collections of all kinds of short fiction. Here’s their list and details.


If you want a book — ANY book — paperbound, try your local bookstore — a lot of them can ship from online orders! You can search for an independent bookstore on Indiebound. Or try Barnes & Noble, especially for e-books*. Support real bookstores! (Amazon will probably weather this storm all right; bookstores are struggling.) And support booksellers, authors and publishers – they all need it.

If you don’t want to buy a new book, check out your nearest library’s website. Many libraries have e-books, audio books, and even magazines available online. And yes, checking out e-books from libraries does support authors and publishers! And it supports the libraries, too, by showing the Powers That Be how vital they are to our communities, especially in a time like this.

For the young and young at heart, Audible is offering free audiobooks for now.

If you have some spare time, review books you like on Goodreads or Amazon. Help out authors to get through these hard times!

My Copy, Reviewed on Goodreads

Here’s something that uses a totally different part of the brain: jigsaw puzzles!

Again, you can try your local bookstore to see if they deliver. We stumbled upon a favorite of ours in Wellington Square Bookshop, a wonderful bookstore I look forward to making the journey to when bookstores can open their doors again. Scroll down a bit to see results when you do a search on Wellington’s website.

Or try Barnes & Noble for puzzles — they seem to have a good number right now.

Another hands-on pursuit: coloring, for kids and adults as well. Coloring is another cool pursuit that uses other parts of our brains, and I find it fun and calming, both.

A library reached out to Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., who very kindly shared their Kids’ Resource Hub – coloring, puzzles, and more.

The Winchester Mystery house is offering their kids’ coloring book and crosswords puzzle.

An astounding array of museums are offering coloring pages from their collections – plenty to appeal to adults and older kids.

I plan on another post soon about more adventures at home on computer – including touring some amazing places, and seeing world-class performances. Check back!

*OK, yes, e-books are on screens. But I find reading a book a different experience than browsing the web, streaming a show, etc. And sometimes e-books are the best choice.

3 thoughts on “Adventures at Home: Off-screen (Mostly)

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  1. Another way to entertain yourself may be to listen to “old time” radio – dramas and comedy and soaps performed on the radio. (The reason we know soap operas as soap operas is because many were sponsored by soap companies when they were created for radio broadcast.) The so called golden age of American radio drama was between the 1930’s through the 50s, but some radio shows have been produced not too long ago (I recently enjoyed finding New Zealand’s 90’s science fiction drama Claybourne) and some are still in production – The BBC’s The Archers is possibly the world’s longest running soap/drama and it’s still going. (The BBC also still produces other quite interesting radio shows that are free to download from their site.) There are dozens of great possibilities when you go back in time, ranging from kid’s adventures shows, superheroes (Superman was on the radio) family comedies, westerns, northerns, historical dramas, cop dramas, quiz shows, science fiction, horror and musical variety shows…although there may be content problems for some if you start listening to shows created 3/4 of a century ago, and I find some of the comedy is rather mysterious today, but also find some shows are still really funny. You will of course need to search the shows out online and download them, but once they’re on your audio playing device of choice (I have a dedicated MP3 player) you can listen for days without having to turn on a screen.
    I might need to write a little blog post about which old time radio shows/episodes someone new to it might want to start sampling! I’ll have to add that idea to my List of Things To Do.


  2. What a great suggestion, VT! I was actually thinking recently that it would be great to bring back radio drama to give some actors and sound people creative work and enjoyment to their audiences. (Of course, radio acting is very different from stage or film, and there are scores of film-making positions who wouldn’t get work out of this.)

    I would love to read your blogpost about where to start with old-time radio. Please do!

    Liked by 1 person

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