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COLUMN: Puzzle your way to the library

It is hard to walk away from a puzzle once it takes hold

It is that time of year again, time to stay in, time to hunker down. The clouds settle in, the wind has its chill and the rain shifts to snow, all signs to curl up, stay home and find something fun to do.

Maybe start a new TV series, bake a great cake, read a fabulous book or, if you are like me, dig into the cupboard of jigsaw puzzles.

Puzzles seem to be made especially for this season. People are home more frequently, the sun goes to bed earlier, the fireplace crackles and as the steamed drinks emerge the calm settles in. And what is more calming than a 1,000-piece puzzle? Not much in my books.

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Now I say calming, others may say infuriating. Puzzles do seem to have a stigma around them, they can be a past time that is treasured or one that is loathed, and I have been through both phases over the years.

Growing up having a mom and sister who loved doing puzzles, it was a gradual journey to my eventual addiction. As a teen and young adult, I did not understand the hours they spent sitting and working as time wasted away.

There were more interesting things to do and much more fun to be had.

Then one day I was convinced to join, my only aim being to spend time with them, but to my surprise the intrigue of the puzzle began. It was not love at first piece, but with each one found and placed I became more invested and more addicted.

For those of you puzzlers out there you likely understand. It is hard to walk away from a puzzle once it takes hold. Just one more hour, 15 more minutes, 20 more pieces and then I will walk away, but as you look at the clock and realize you have whiled away an entire afternoon, or it is 4 a.m., you realize the puzzle has won again.

Now all this time spent may sound wasteful or tedious to some, but whether it is minutes, hours or even days this time can be therapeutic, re-energizing and very peaceful. Your favourite music playing in the background, or light conversation flowing with your puzzle partners, or my absolute favorite pairing, a great audio book that I just got from the library.

The delightful book, A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles kept me company through many hours of puzzling enjoyment.

If puzzles are a hobby that pique your interest, then join us beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 30. The Summerland Library will be providing surprise jigsaw puzzle bags for you to check out, take home and tackle this season.

Whether a new past time is what you are looking for or you are fostering a long-time love, there will be a special puzzle waiting for you.

Carly Tanasichuk is an assistant community librarian at the Summerland Library.

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