Little Free Libraries

Have you heard about the Little Free Library? I am borrowing with a abandon from a recently published blog describing their presence in on lucky neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. In this case, a loving husband gave his writer/reader/blogger wife the sturdy little structure as a gift.

According to “The Little Free Library Book” (Coffee House Press, $25), there are 25,000 of these pedestal libraries worldwide, spread across 50 states and 80 countries. “The basic definition: a box of books, posted in an accessible spot, often in a residential yard near a sidewalk. The key to having a Little Free Library is to release control. Take a book, leave a book. A lot of people feel an obligation to reciprocate.”

As the happy, but a little hesitant-at-first Seattle blogger (Mary Ann Gwinn) phrases it, “Do I want my neighbors to think that I actually bought and read “How to Hook a Hottie,” which sat in my Little Free Library for a week before someone took it away?” She adds,”I think of … reader-service librarians, and how their mission is to find each person their book. Who am I to judge? Why worry if people are judging me? My motto is, Every Book Its Reader. And someone did finally take that Bob Hope biography.”

We have a little free library built by a creative, woodcraftsman friend sitting on a table on our patio ready to be installed. I am starting with children’s’ books. Maybe we could place a bench nearby and we would get to observe—parents and grandparents reading to their little ones—or vice versa. I have numerous copies of “Good Night Moon.” I bet they disappear quickly.

What is your Little Free Library story? Send them — bizarre, inspiring, off-the-wall, to mgwinn@seattletimes.com, or leave a comment online. Want to start your own? Go to littlefreelibrary.org.

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