Leah Pearse is a public services librarian at the Juan de Fuca branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Leah Pearse is a public services librarian at the Juan de Fuca branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.

FROM THE LIBRARY: Get outside to do your reading

West Shore GVPL librarians share their tips on enhancing literacy

January is a time many of us choose to work on healthy habits, be they related to mind, body or spirit –or all three simultaneously.

For kids, a StoryWalk combines reading, exercise and the deep satisfaction that comes with spending time in the great outdoors. In a StoryWalk, children read a story by walking (or skipping or hopping) from page to page of a book, which are set up outdoors in a circuit and attached to signposts, fences, trees or shrubs. Starting Jan. 28, library patrons can borrow one of the library’s 30 StoryWalk kits to set up at home or at a favourite park.

Teens and adults can create their own activity that combines reading and exercise.

Try listening to an e-audiobook while you work out at the gym or walk the Esquimalt Lagoon searching for birds. If you’ve never tried an e-audiobook, I recommend you start with a thriller that will keep your attention; maybe something from John Grisham? You can download e-audiobooks with your library card 24 hours a day from our digital collections through the Overdrive, Cloud Library or Hoopla apps. Our website, gvpl.ca, has information on how to get started, or you can ask at any branch.

If you’re not sure you can successfully listen to a narrative and exercise at the same time, try listening while you cook a healthy meal.

When you’re ready to tackle an outdoor adventure, John Crouch’s guides to walking, biking and hiking in Greater Victoria are a great place to start. For more ambitious treks, try Blisters and Bliss, David Foster’s guide to completing the West Coast Trail, and Maria Bremner’s Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail.

If exercising in your living room is more suitable, choose one of GVPL’s many fitness DVDs. From yoga to Tai Chi to ballet, you can refresh your body and mind with a workout that suits your abilities and interests.

Healthy minds and healthy bodies make healthy communities. With that in mind, let’s get outside and read.

Join us for the launch of the StoryWalk collection on Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Juan de Fuca branch, 1759 Island Hwy. The event is presented in collaboration with Your Literacy Connection Westshore’s Family Learning Tour, as part of Family Literacy Week celebrations.

Visit gvpl.ca for more details.

– By Leah Pearse

Other stories from the Greater Victoria Public Library:

LIBRARY COLUMN: Take GVPL resources with you as you travel

LIBRARY COLUMN: Holiday reads to ignite the spirit