I’m B-O-R-E-D, what can I DO-OO??

Have you ever wondered what librarians do when they’re in the back room?  If you’d been a fly on the wall in the returns area the other day, you would have heard a glorious rendition of the theme from the Brady Bunch, followed by melodious strains of

There’s a voice, keeps on calling me, down the road, that’s where I’ll always be.  Every stop I make, I’ll make a new friend…

Remember that one? No?? It must be 30 years since I saw The Littlest Hobo, but I can still remember the words to the song. This all started when a Roger Ramjet DVD came through the slot, and Sue said she could still clearly remember the theme song, and we all chimed in with other songs we could remember. Another one that sticks in my head is Hong Kong Phooey, and I was amazed to find that we have it – on tape, no less!

goodiesThis got me to thinking about TV shows that I loved to watch as a kid, and it turns out that we have loads of them on DVD. Like The Smurfs and Sooty. Children of Fire Mountain and Hunter’s Gold. George and Mildred and the Good Life.

So if the weather packs up again these holidays, and you need an answer to “I’m bored, what can I do-oo??” or you’d just like to take a trip down memory lane, I’ve put together a list of TV shows that I used to watch when I was a kid, and there’s a couple of theme song compilations in there too. I even included Little House on the Prairie, which I couldn’t stand — I much preferred the books!  

Overbored!

CoverIt’s the school holidays and in library after library around the city the tug of war between harried adults and their bored offspring plays itself out.

Who is it that throws the switch on the cute kids who tumble into libraries with such joy, and turns them into bored youngsters – like overnight? Suddenly the only thing they want to do is Facebook and attempts to get them interested in any of the other wonderful Young Adult resources we have is greeted with disdain and the sing-song “Boring.” There is something passive aggressive about the bored, neatly summed up by Paul Tillich who said: “Boredom is rage spread thin.”

More disturbing yet is that being bored has somehow captured the higher ground and is considered to be intellectually superior and cool. Pity the poor young people who are still interested in things and, in some really nerdy cases – heaven forbid – are actually enthusiastic.

It’s got me thinking about this whole boredom thing and from this you can deduce that I’m so uncool that even boredom doesn’t bore me. In fact, the library is full of fascinating books on the topic. A good starting point might be Peter Toohey’s book Boredom – A Lively History or  History without the Boring Bits by Ian Crofton and then there’s the intriguingly named My Boring-ass Life by Kevin Smith. My favourite book on this topic is How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson, but I am also tempted by the help on hand for bad-attitude pets in 150 Activities for Bored Dogs. And no, there were no books for bored cats – just as you would expect.

I’ve often said that I’m never bored. But, now that I delve into the topic, I wonder if it was boredom  that I was was feeling from 8-9 on cold winter’s nights at the issues desk in the old Central Library: a feeling of restless lassitude which even the entertainment afforded by my colleagues (let’s call them Dean, Colin and Richard) could not hold at bay. Now that I can no longer work there, I’ll never know for sure.

I’ll leave you with two quotes on boredom – you’ll probably agree with one or the other:

  • “Boredom is the highest mental state.” – Einstein
  • “In order to live free and happily you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.” – Richard Bach

Time to get the kids keen on gardening and the outdoors

It’s nearing the end of the school holidays and the sun is shining. This is a perfect time to get the kids outside without book coverhaving to drive them to the beach or for a walk in the hills. Let’s get them outside in our own backyards.

There are many books on gardening with kids in our libraries. We have some great books for parents about how to provide kid friendly gardening spaces and about encouraging them to participate. Children’s gardening books are written in a style appealing to them.

If your child is really not interested in gardening at all try books on outdoor activities.