Exercise is not just for the biceps

Thanks for visiting today. Here in Penticton it is green outside because of the rain – the fruit trees and the grapes would dance if they could. Today my post is about reading books to exercise brain cells and two books I just read recently; they are connected. – David

Exercise is not just for the biceps

Netflix, Facebook, text messages, Instagram, tv series etc are all fine entertainment but I am also a believer that our brains need more.

When I was taking courses at university or technical college I was exercising my gray cells. Then during my career I was also learning new ideas and policies (very taxing it was!) as I was always testing and improving my knowledge.

Now that I spend so much time using a computer, and my smart phone is used more for it’s computer capacity than it’s ability to make phone calls I feel that an extra effort is needed to ensure my brain is not “coasting”, which is a downhill action !

Fortunately I had parents who instilled into me the love of reading. I began when I was young and cute reading comic books. Now I buy books and borrow books from the Public Library (which I encourage everyone to do). Thanks to computer access I can pick my books in advance, reserve them and the library emails me when my books are ready to pick up; and reminds me also when they are due back!

Another way to keep your brain fresh is by studying a different language every day for 30 minutes or so. A few years ago I studied Turkish for awhile, switched to German and now I am on a 280 day streak of studying Spanish (Espanol) ♥ Me gusta estudio espanol y a veces yo hablo espanol.


Today I would like to share feedback of two of my recent reads.

the Book Shop

I hope you can find this book “The Bookshop” – quick read, only 123 pages, and charming engaging characters. It was printed back in 1997 and I found and borrowed it from my library. The story takes place in 1959 in a seaside town in England named Hardborough. Florence Green, a widow, decides to use her small inheritance to open a bookshop because there isn’t one. She buys the “old house” which has a leaking roof, a flooding cellar and possibly a ghost.

In 1959 Florence Green occasionally passed a night when she was not absolutely sure whether she had slept or not. This was because of her worries as to whether to purchase a small property, the Old House, with its own warehouse on the foreshore, and to open the only bookshop in Hardborough. The uncertainty probably kept her awake. She had once seen a heron flying across the estuary and trying, while it was on the wing, to swallow an eel which it had caught. The eel, in turn, was struggling to escape from the gullet of the heron and appeared a quarter, a half, or occasionally three-quarters of the way out. The indecision expressed by both creatures was pitiable. They had taken on too much. Florence felt that if she hadn’t slept at all – and people often say this when they mean nothing of the kind – she must have kept awake by thinking of the heron.

– Chapter 1, opening paragraph “The bookshop”


I read “The Bookshop” because I read “Paris Never Leaves You” and that story takes place in a bookshop in Paris bookstore during the occupation of Paris during World War II. Also an interesting book fights for her life to survive but can she survive the next chapter of her life?

An interview of the author Ellen Feldman is at the end of “Paris Never Leaves You” and she mentioned and recommended “The Bookshop” hence my reading that book by Penelope Fitzgerald.


Enjoy your day, and I appreciate your visit. ♥

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
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20 Responses to Exercise is not just for the biceps

  1. Sally says:

    Thanks, Dave, great post.
    I also remember learning to read from comic books.
    Definitely reading, and learning new skills is important for us . 🌷🤗


  2. You’re right. Our brain needs exercise too and what better way other than reading and writing. Thanks for the recommendations, David. Stay safe, take care


  3. I am an avid reader, having ‘cut my teeth’ on Nancy Drew mystery books. I giggle now about how happy I was when my mom would send me to my room because I could just crawl up on the bed and read for hours, and it never felt like punishment! I am finally working my way through my “To Be Read” pile with a promise to myself to buy no more books (usually from the library’s book fair and thrift shops)… because I have a Kindle Paperwite on which I’ve loaded over 140 books and refuse to start using it until my pile is depleted. The books you read seem interesting – I will definitely be checking them out!


    • dfolstad58 says:

      I feel closer to fellow avid readers and I remember the Hardy Boys books I read. I loved to read when camping in the Okanagan, the light was perfect inside the tent and I could fall asleep in the heat. My daughter swears by her Kindle and I hope you will enjoy yours also. I suspect if I had one I would still get physical books. I like to hold them, and the feeling of opening them. I had a copy of the Hobbit from the 80’s that I held on to for a long time even though the pages were loose because I couldn’t stop reading even in the YMCA sauna. Lol.


  4. Amber says:

    Thanks for your post! Yes, I’m trying to read more physical books this summer. My brain needs it! I’m also introducing my young kids to audio books- such a wonderful tool!


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Hi Amber, thank you for reading and visiting. I really like that. Audio books are cool. My kids tell me they love the memories of me reading books to them. If they had the book too much then I changed the words, sometimes they caught me, sometimes we let the story evolve and ended up laughing until our ribs were sore. So much for helping them relax and fall asleep. LOL. I look forward to talking to you again. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  5. LA says:

    The cat!!


  6. The Bookshop sounds really interesting, and kudos to you for learning new languages. I’ve wanted to learn Spanish too, but it’s one of those things I haven’t gotten around to yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dfolstad58 says:

      I just pay for Duolingo app on my phone, and study daily for 30 minutes. You can do it free but then you have waste time looking at ads and it is time consuming. I would like to step it up to a couple of hours daily with another Spanish tutor online but I know I don’t want to commit that much time daily. – I find if I study the Spanish first thing when I wake up then I don’t it get set aside with life’s distractions later in the day. Maybe someday I will be able to say I am fluent in Spanish. I think that would be a cool accomplishment. – David Take care Debra.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dfolstad58 says:

      I have always wanted to unicycle. My wife thinks I want to run away to the circus. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve read the best brain exercise is doing something you haven’t done before. Getting outside of your envelope.


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