Two years ago today, Dear Husband helped me install a little free library in front of our house. He built it, and I painted it. It was something I had been wanting to do for many years.
I remember how excited I was when I filled it with books for the first time. Reading and travel are my two favorite pastimes. I knew I’d enjoy encouraging literacy in my neighborhood, and allowing people to travel in their minds.
What I didn’t realize is how much more it would become for me. I wasn’t expecting how connected I would feel to my community. I had no idea I’d make so many friends. I had no freakin’ clue how much of my garage would be taken over by the book backlog. (Sorry DH.)
And the library seems to have taken on a life of its own. It has a Facebook group. I now also give away rubber duckies, plastic toys, painted rocks, bookmarks, and the occasional school supply. On sunny days, I wheel out a book wagon full of additional books, and lock it to the library’s post.
I love all the amazing comments people put in my log book. I did have to chain it to the library, though, as the first book disappeared. We also installed a hook for people to use for their dogs’ leashes. I had a water bowl out there for the pups, but that vanished almost immediately. I’ll have to look for a bowl with a handle that I can attach to the post. Pity, that.
My library has a living roof, and the succulents and the pansies have taken over. And we put twinkling lights on the post for Christmas, and decided that we liked them so much that they’re still there. In addition, we have a little free library flag, and people liked the license plates that we put on the telephone pole behind it so much that they’ve taken to donating plates to us, too.
I enjoy doing chalk art on the sidewalk in front on sunny days, and we’re talking about painting concrete blocks to look like famous book titles, and embedding them beside the walkway. Someday we may even get around to installing a bench and a solar light. And an even bigger box. (Please?)
We have also taken to carrying a box of books in the trunk of our car. When we happen upon another little library, We’ll stop, take pictures, and leave some books. Occasionally we even seek them out. It’s a great way to see neighborhoods you wouldn’t normally visit, and get ideas for your own library. In addition, I recently started to stock the little library at our local YMCA.
This little free library looms so large in my life now. I can’t imagine a day going by without me peeking inside to see what has been borrowed. The joy it gives me is bigger than my neighborhood. I’m grateful for everyone who visits it, and I hope they spread the word.
I’d love to inspire you to start a little free library of your own, dear reader. At the very least, support the one nearest you. Keep on reading, everyone.
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