My Very Own Little Free Library
In the fall, I wrote an article for The Buzz Magazines about Little Free Libraries in the area. Little Free Libraries are the little boxes found throughout the city in neighborhoods, parks and even in front of businesses that are stocked with free books. The idea is for people to “grab a book, leave a book” but more than anything it is a way for people to share their love of reading with others and often to build community. While the general idea is a book trade, the actual process is much looser – people grab a book if they are in need of one and leave a book if they have one but that is not a firm requirement. More than anything, the idea is to promote reading and the sharing of books.
For the article, I selected several libraries from the various neighborhoods covered by the Buzz and interviewed the owners about their libraries: why they decided to have one, how they acquired it, what types of books they stocked it with and more. I really enjoyed writing the article, and after it published, I heard from a number of residents about their own libraries, which was such a fun side benefit of the piece.
My own job involves reading books and writing about them, talking about them, and interviewing authors about them. This means that a large number of books arrive at my house weekly and quickly begin to pile up. When the piles get too large, my husband starts asking me if we are opening a library, which is my signal to begin clearing some of them out. For several years, I have spent a fair amount of time driving around and depositing these books in Little Free Libraries all over town.
After writing the Little Free Library article, I began to contemplate purchasing my own, particularly since there is not one devoted to adult books in Southside (there is one for children’s books). While some people build their own, and the website proves wonderful instructions on how to do so, that is just not in my household’s wheelhouse, so I hopped on the Little Free Library site and found one that is made from recycled milk jugs so it will be immune to the humid weather. The Little Free Library organization employs Amish furniture makers to create the libraries, and mine arrived about two weeks after I ordered it.
To ensure people knew I now had one, I posted in a local Facebook group and told a bunch of my friends. I have boxes and boxes of current books to fill the library, and I have had so much fun watching it repeatedly empty so I can fill it up again. Several local authors have dropped their books by as well.
If you love to read, please stop by my new library at 3720 Carlon Street in Southside Place. You do not need to leave a book unless you want to because I have plenty to stock the library, but please come take some! I am keeping it filled with tons of current titles and books from the last several years.
I would love to hear about your Little Free Library if you have one; I plan to highlight some more in the community soon.
For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.
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