Personal Best: A haven for book lovers

Last Saturday I thought I had died and gone to heaven. My friend Jean and I decided to drop off some books at the Special Olympics Book Warehouse at the Alpine Centre on Kalamalka Road and what resulted from doing a good deed was a wonderful reward in the discovery of a treasury of books. Thousands of them, all affordable.

The place itself is intimidating, with narrow aisles and row after row of books, some climbing the walls and inhabiting every nook and cranny, a rabbit warren of tens of thousands of cheaply-priced, good quality books for sale in support of Special Olympics. There are several small adjoining rooms having specialty books, like a section for kids, a cookbook section and dictionaries as well. While it seemed confusing, it became clear after a good look that all was in order and books were easy to find.

If you are a book lover you know nothing is as satisfying as having such a warehouse of books to choose from and most of them costing from 15 cents to just $2. It was a book reader’s heaven and we spent some time grabbing just the right books to make the rest of winter worthwhile.

The Special Olympics book warehouse is one of Greater Vernon’s best-kept secrets and a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning. Money raised helps cover expenses for Special Olympics programs in the Greater Vernon area and any donation of books is much appreciated. For information or donation of books phone 250-545-1287. The warehouse is open to the public every Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon. Enjoy!

Another discovery last week found me at Southward Medical Supply store marveling at the different aids now available to people with mobility issues. While getting socks on seems like a trivial issue to most, it can be the most difficult and defeating chore to do if you cannot bend or lift your leg. I was introduced to the most satisfying sock aid I have ever seen, simply inserting your foot into the contraption and pulling up with two long bands. It works and removes another barrier, as does the great coffee mug holder that attaches to my walker, another minor annoyance cleared up. Sometimes we don’t know what is available until we look, and every aid we can use to make life simpler is worth it.

And our poor library, what a mess it is. Although the parking lot and elevator is in use, most of the main floor is still being repaired. Makes you wonder how this could happen to a brand-new building with all the most modern architectural conveniences built right in. Guess nobody is perfect and no doubt insurance will pick up the tab. It will be interesting to see just what and who is responsible. In the meantime the library board had appointed a writer-in-residence and I am hoping this will lead to a writers’ support group that is accessible to everyone.

Hey! Coffee is in again as old research on the connection between coffee and health problems is now being refuted by newer and better designed studies.  The most recent research mentioned in the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, 2013 indicates that coffee may actually have benefits. Coffee is the number-one source of antioxidants in the U.S because of its popularity, and long-term coffee consumption is linked to a reduced risk of type-2 diabetes. Moderate coffee consumption is associated with a modest reduction in stroke risk as well, and a lower risk of prostate cancer and colon cancer was found in coffee drinkers than nondrinkers.

If you have any questions or comments, call 250-542-7928 or

Pat Black writes about issues of concern to seniors in the North Okanagan, appearing every other Sunday.

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