Traveler says restaurants also serve as bookstores

Dear Heloise: In a recent column, you mentioned that truck stops are good places to rent audiobooks. That is true, but an even better and cheaper place is restaurant chains.
We drive from California to Florida and Connecticut every year, and as soon as we get to the first restaurant, we stop for breakfast or dinner and pick up some books, and continue to stop for meals and books all the way to Connecticut.
The books only cost $3 per rental, as opposed to $6.95 or more at most of the truck stops, and some of the truck stops require that you sign up for membership in their book clubs.
I think the restaurants have a better variety of books to choose from. You have to pay initially for the cost of the book, but that is refunded to you (minus the $3 rental fee) as long as you return the book within seven days to any restaurant in the chain.
The restaurants have books on both CD and audiotape, so you have to be careful when you make your selection. We made the mistake once of choosing a CD book when we only had a tape player in our car. It is also best to always check that all the required number of cassettes are in the package when you are checking it out.
Love your column -- I have been reading it forever. Diane in California
Audiobooks are a wonderful way to catch up on books you never seem to have time to get to. Remember, your library has audiobooks, too. Use your tax dollars. Heloise
Dear Heloise: We moved to a new home, and in reorganizing my kitchen, I decided there were so many packages of mixes such as chili, spaghetti sauce, taco seasonings, onion soup, etc., that I needed to find a better way to keep up with the packages.
I bought a shoe bag that hangs on the door and has clear pockets. I hung this on my pantry door and put the mixes in the pockets.
It makes it easier to keep up with them -- plus, when it is time to go shopping, you can see at a glance what you need.
Since I am blind, I put a Braille card in each pocket with the name of the mix and the directions. At first, I thought I would only need to use half of the bag, since it has 24 pockets, but I have managed to fill them all. Several of my friends have seen my pantry organized and thought I should send my idea to you. Patricia, Oklahoma City
Dear Heloise: With my family of six, laundry is a never-ending chore. To make laundry a little easier, I bought three large, plastic clothes baskets, and everyone puts darks, mediums and white clothes in them. When the basket is full, I throw the clothing in the washer. Lucy, via fax
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to
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