now online

Price slashed on
easy sheet music
for 365 favorites


Plus electronic templates
for singalong lyrics sheets

Finally, a singalong songbook of sheet music with easy-to-follow melody lines, chords and lyrics for 365 oldtime favorites. Ideal for singalongs at nursing homes, senior residences – and we're finding that a lot of folks want them for their own use at home.songbook(A great help for beginning piano students.)

(To see a sample song page, click here, then right-click on the sample (several times, if necessary) and ask to 'view image.')

We now market and distribute our songbook, Sing Along with Ease, exclusively online: You order online with a credit card and we send you the book online via email for you to print out at home. While that requires a little work on your part, it eliminates the delay in mail delivery (often a week or more) and cuts the price by about half.

And we continue to offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee as well as unlimited technical support via email. If you're not completely satisfied with what we've sent you or how we help you via email, we refund all your money promptly.

The songs have been collected and transcribed over the past 20 years by the Hat Band, a family foursome of string players and singers who for those two decades have held singalongs at area nursing homes and senior residences as volunteers.

Marketed for years in printed and bound form, the songbook is the same one that has been used by the Hat Band in its volunteer singalongs. Any additional songs the band adds to its collection – it does so slowly – are sent out free to those who already have the songbook.

We also send out electronic templates of words to more than 240 songs that can be formatted into lyrics sheets. For volunteer singalong leaders, it's a great way to get audiences involved. For home use, it's a great way to help your guests sing along as you sit at a piano or with a guitar playing an old favorite.

To order Sing Along with Ease, use the PayPal button below. As soon as we are notified of the order (usually within 24 hours), we'll email you the songbook and lyrics templates.

Our money-back guarantee is based on the same sales philosophy we used when we marketed the songbooks by regular mail. Please see our entry entitled We trust you. (And please note that our attitude toward online financial transactions has evolved. We've found that PayPal has a gold-edge reputation for security.)

For any questions or assistance, email our site administrator at

* The old price of the songbook that we printed and shipped by regular mail was $39.95, and the shipping, because the book weighed about three pounds, was an additional $5.79 in the continental U.S., pushing the total price to $45.74.

(To Canada, limited to air mail only, shipping was $12.85, plus a $10 bank fee for processing international checks. That's a total of $62.80.)

The new price of $24.95 is complete, no extra charges.

Free books
still offered

from frustrated writers
to adventurous readers

This site offers a library of original text works – nonfiction, fiction or poetry of all lengths, published and unpublished – that have been submitted free by their authors. To find these, please visit the 'Works' section in the upper righthand column of this page. This site does not claim copyright to any of these works, and no modification of any work has been done except for style formatting. No work may be reused commercially, and any noncommercial reuse must give credit to the author.

To upload...

Sorry, we're not accepting any new works right now.

To comment...

Readers are free to download any listing from the 'Works' section, subject to the aforementioned restrictions, and to provide comments to the site administrator at for publication in the 'Comments on works' listing. To comment on any excerpt or other post shown in the center column, simply do so directly beneath the post by clicking on the '(No) Comments' link. Unless otherwise specified, all comments will be published, subject to libel guidelines.

About us...

This blog was started as a nonprofit website giving writers a place to publish their work at no cost and readers a chance to read that work and, if they chose, to comment on it. Now we are concentrating on a singalong songbook, also an idealistic project that promotes volunteer music programs at nursing homes and senior residences as well as family singing at home, all through easy, low-cost sheet music. Although we no longer accept new works from authors, all previous submissions are still available in our 'Works' section. We also maintain a blogroll of diverse sites, all well-written, for readers to explore, although at present, no new sites are being accepted for listing. The site's founder and administrator is its first nonfiction contributor, Sid Leavitt, a retired newspaper editor who lives in Lake Katrine, N.Y.

This site is owned by Readersandwritersblog LLC, which is solely responsible for its content.


View from the Panopticon

May 15, 2007


As I make my way through the dark forest of the Internet, I find I’m guided through the underbrush by lights from the most unexpected sources, the latest leading to a weblog called The Panopticon.

The blog is written by Franklin Habit, a photographer, educator and website designer who lives in Chicago, is a Zen Buddhist, is perhaps of Middle Eastern descent, is gay and writes mostly about his passion, knitting. Not much in common with us sports-loving, beer-drinking, East Coast he-men who wouldn’t know a knit from a purl.

But, man, can he write. Which is why The Panopticon is the latest addition to our blogroll.

Franklin, truth be told, can get a little bitchy, but always filled with a humor that makes you want to be slapped by him:

Will you non-knitters kindly remember that knitting is not synonymous with ‘crafting’? Using ancient techniques to fashion warm socks, handsome sweaters, or ethereal lace from spun fiber is not akin to making trivets out of Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue.

In a recent snippet titled ‘Schadenfreude Corner,’ he writes:

Gym membership: $50/month
New, smaller Levi’s 501s that fit recently refurbished physique just so: $75
New heels for favorite cowboy boots: $35
Round of drinks for old friends at Charlie’s Bar on Saturday night: $35
Running into the ‘younger man’ that Mr. Ex dumped you for and realizing he’s easily put on forty pounds in the past year: Priceless

His account of meeting his imaginary friend, Dolores, a cheeky Romney sheep who shows up at his door one night, approaches high Gogolesque fiction in its dialogue. The sheep, it turns out, wants to be taken out for a drink.

Another conversation, this one real, with a man on a commuter train who pulls his daughter away from her fascination with Franklin’s knitting, shows a more serious side:

I honestly thought he was concerned that she might be bothering me, so I smiled and said, ‘It’s okay, I don’t mind questions.’

To which he replied, ‘You leave my kid alone!’ And then, not directly to me, but just as audibly, ‘Goddamned freaks.’

Rude? Oh yes. But this is not supposed to be another man-knits-in-public-and-attracts-idiocy story. Those are too common to be interesting in and of themselves.

This is a reminder to myself that my own brain’s not so different from his. I may not be inclined to tell a stranger on the subway she’s a freak, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think it. I do it all the time . . .. I look, I categorize, I judge. And just as I believe that man got me wrong in believing me to be a threat to his child, I’m certain I often misjudge others.

One of the aspects of elusive enlightenment I’m pursuing through Zen Buddhism is (I hear) a genuine understanding that between yourself and myself, there is no difference.

So who put us on to Franklin? My mother-in-law, Virginia Sunderman, 82, an avid knitter and Indiana native who has been known to have Republican proclivities. I am considerably to the left of her, but she felt the following note was necessary:

To prepare you, I will say that Franklin is a mid-Eastern-looking male who is gay, a knitter, very artistic . . . and has an imaginary friend, Dolores, who is a sheep.

I often think Virginia is a Democrat hiding in Republican trappings. But she may suspect that beneath my wool, a Republican is hiding. Well, maybe Franklin’s Buddhism has the answer.

– Sid Leavitt

Posted in Uncategorized |

19 Responses

  1. MonicaPDX says:

    Hi, Sid - dropped in from Franklin’s blog to check yours out. Great review! If I hadn’t already been a fan of his, I’d be running to catch up.

    I like the idea of your blog, and I’ll be coming back. I can certainly sympathize with the forest/trees feeling. Only been reading blogs a little over a year myself (slow starter [g]), and grief; the choices! But for an inveterate reader, it sure is nice to have an abundance. Even with all the wading. ;)

    You’ll no doubt get more of Franklin’s readers stopping by, and probably umpteen of those will also suggest the person I’m about to…but Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, is another knitblogger who’s superb. She talks about more than knitting, and is a knitting humorist who’s just had her fourth book published. You might want to check out the 18th birthday post she made to her eldest daughter yesterday. It’s a gem.

    (main URL is:

  2. Marty52 says:

    I came here from Franklin’s blog, too. Besides the Yarn Harlot, do check out the following:

    I’ll be back… enjoy!

  3. Jeanne B. says:

    Franklin is AWESOME. He’s the funniest thing on the web. I second the mention of The Yarn Harlot. There are several knitbloggers out there whose writing is noteworthy:

    Tales from the Den of Chaos


    Crazy Aunt Purl

    to name a few. Thank you for noticing our community! Wonderful review.

  4. Manon says:

    Another one dropping in to say hi after reading the Panopticon…

    I apologize for my ignorance but what are he-men?

  5. Leslie says:

    Hello Sid,
    I’m also a devoted fan of Franklin’s work and want to join in the recommendations for Crazy Aunt Purl, Rabbitch, and the Yarn Harlot. All are fabulous, talented, and funny. Oh, and they knit too!

  6. Bells says:

    Another Franklin reader here.

    Dolores is imaginary? Huh? What are you talking about? :-)

    Great write up. I love Franklin. He makes me smile.

  7. Sarah R says:

    Heh. I think you’re about to be over-run with Franklinphiles. And knitters, most of us, I’ll bet.

    Another huge second for Crazy Aunt Purl (if she doesn’t make you laugh, you’re dead) and the Yarn Harlot (she’ll make you laugh and also, possibly, make you want to pick up knitting needles even if the thought of doing so has never previously crossed your mind…she’s very inspiring).

    Another wonderful blog…for the photography as much as the writing….both are awesome…is:

    Now, off to explore your place!

  8. Jennifer says:

    I also linked from Franklin’s site. I never miss his blog, along with Yarnstorm, Yarn Harlot and Crazy Aunt Purl. (Crazy Aunt Purl is not as well-written as the other three, but it is still one of the most enjoyable).

  9. TinaB. says:

    Dropped in after visiting Franklin. Men come in all flavors, you know. And, as Sarah just said, “now off to explore YOUR place.” Looks good so far!

  10. MaryB says:

    Your definition of a he-man is flawed. Or maybe “he-men” are flawed. In any event, Franklin is plenty of man for me. I’m so glad you noticed him. Other than the irrelevant comment on his manhood, your review was quite good. But I like Franklin’s writing better. MaryB

  11. Rhonda the Stitchingnut says:

    Another Franklin fan here. I loved your review. I’ve only been reading blogs for a year now, along with writing my own. (meager as it is) It’s nice to check out the blogs that others like or find interesting. I’ll be exploring yours more along with the ones you’ve recommended.

    But I have a question. What do you mean Dolores is imaginary?

  12. Terri says:

    Great review! I am already a fan of Franklin’s Panopticon blog site, as well as the infamous Delores.

  13. Vicky in Vancouver says:

    Another Panopticon fan weighing in. I love good writing & his makes me both laugh and think. Seconds again to recommendations re Yarn Harlot, Crazy Aunt Purl, Rabbitch, and also these: and

  14. Laurie says:

    Yet another Franklin (and Dolores) fan. I don’t knit, am not gay, Buddhist or otherwise have anything in common with Franklin. I am a reader, and this guy is the real deal. A new post from Franklin is a sure thing; a few moments of pure pleasure. And Dolores… ‘nuf said.

    So glad I’ve found your site. The blogging world is a rich place. I’m off to explore your site.

    Please also check out the following for exceptional writing:

  15. Nik says:

    Yeah. Ditto.

  16. Claire says:

    I read The Panopticon everyday. He makes me laugh and I love Dolores. He’s a good knitter too.

  17. Josa Craft says:

    Glad you found Franklin…he is exquisite and I love him! I second Rabbitch and Yarn Harlot….

  18. Ann says:

    Me, too. Me, too!

    Franklin and Dolores fan here, seconding all the recommendations of other blogs to try.

  19. Cami says:

    love your bloggy-blog… I was just intro’ed to Franklin today, when opposite-friend came by and added him to my ‘must reads’. As a dyed in the wool conservative, I’m often afraid to enter discussions with other knitters about anything. I mean, really, soy and corn based yarns aren’t more ‘eco’, ‘cuz I’m pretty sure tractors still use fuel to farm the damn stuff. But you can’t point this out to most knitters. So, I enjoy the humor, but refrain from (what I consider rational) commenting. Doesn’t do to piss off people with pointy sticks. And if a person knits, that’s enough of a redeeming quality, I guess. Will check back on you later, from my little corner of Indiana. Cami

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.