“Trust me, some day we’ll need it and you’ll be sorry you threw it out.”
That remark reverberated after viewing a segment on 60 Minutes about Todd Boll’s Little Free Library movement and the thousands of mini, hand-built libraries for book sharing that are proliferating worldwide.
He was right. The wooden beer crate gathering dust in the attic was handily reconfigured into a sturdy, 24” x 15” library by adding a waterproof roof and peek-in Plexi door. Installed on the front fence and stocked initially with our own books, the Little Free Library has become a hot spot for local readers, stroller pushers, and dog walkers, who swap out favorites and exchange kudos and critiquess, in the process getting to know neighbors they’ve nodded to in passing, but never actually spoken to.
“Take one, leave one” is the LFL motto. But, in fact, the library waxes and wanes. Some days the box is almost empty; others it’s piled high with donations.
“If you build it, they will come”. Well, yes, but… Maintaining a LFL is no slam dunk. It requires daily attention.
However, the rewards are more than worth the effort. Each time you snap open the latch there’s the thrill of discovery, not unlike the pleasure of checking a chicken coop at dawn to find a clutch of warm eggs hidden in the straw. We shuffle the books around constantly, removing the slow movers and foxed paperbacks, curating the contents to ensure variety. We depend on regulars, and like all savvy retailers we keep our stock fresh lest customers become bored and pass by without a glance.
Readers of books abound everywhere, eager to share favorite reads, ideas, friendship, and community. Hammered onto a fence over a year ago, our Little Free beer crate Library defies the media hype that paper is dead.
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