A Puzzling Hobby

Looking for a new hobby? You may want to consider jigsaw puzzles. Or perhaps you are already one of the millions who is already an avid puzzler and enjoying its benefits.

According to numerous sources, most of us would profit from working on a challenging jigsaw puzzle. Health advantages include improved memory, eye-hand coordination, concentration, problem-solving skills, and stress reduction by focusing attention on the task at hand.

If you want to give puzzles a try, the library at Madera Clubhouse has just what you need—an abundance of jigsaw puzzles. Our shelves are loaded with all sorts and sizes. One- to 500-piece puzzles seem to be most popular, but if 1,000 pieces are your jam, the library has those, too.

Where in the library will you find the puzzles? Behind cabinet doors where they are kept together by the number of pieces. Puzzles with fewer than 1,000 pieces are found in the main library in cabinets next to the wall rack of cooking magazines. One thousand-piece puzzles are located in cabinets in the hallway across from the donation box. Puzzles with more than 1,000 pieces aren’t kept in the library but are donated to La Posada, as are the older puzzles.

(Fun fact: 1,000-piece puzzles don’t contain exactly 1,000 pieces. Most are 1,008 or 1,026 to make the correct shape.)

Because so many puzzles come and go and because shelf space is limited, the library is only able to keep the most recent donations. As new puzzles come in, older ones are donated. Because only newer donations are kept, visitors are likely to find something different each time they visit.

An exception is made, of course, for puzzles with any missing pieces, which are discarded. To help in keeping pieces together, they are placed in the box, enclosed in a plastic bag. We ask that borrowers return the puzzles in the same box and plastic bag.

And speaking of missing pieces, if after completing a puzzle you find that a piece is missing, please just discard it rather than returning it to the library.

(Fun fact: According to the Los Angeles Public Library blog, “John Spilsbury, a London cartographer and engraver, is believed to have produced the first ‘jigsaw’ puzzle around 1760. It was a map glued to a flat piece of wood and then cut into pieces following the lines of the countries.”)

If you have puzzles to donate, they should be placed in the donation box in the hallway outside the library.