as reported in the December issue of The Writer's Life, by Laurie Asher
Have you ever taken a walk around your neighborhood and come across what looks like a very fine birdhouse attached to a wooden signpost? But on closer inspection, you notice there are books inside, not birds, although there may be a book or two about birds.
You are looking at an example of a “Little Free Library,” one of 50,000 around the world. The concept has steadily grown throughout American neighborhoods and in 70 countries. Not interested in birds? You’ll find many genres available. And you can stock your Little Free Library with all those books you have just hanging around, perhaps those romance novels collecting dust.
Somebody wants to read them — the autobiography of Frederick Douglass that a student might write a report about, or even Green Eggs and Ham for the grandkids, and much more.
See a book you’d like to read? Go ahead, borrow it. Read it. Enjoy it. Then return it on a future walk. And feel free to add a few of your own personal works.
Perhaps you have a published book you’d like to share with neighbors (you might even have a few dozen boxes of them in the garage). Why not paste a bio on the inside of the front jacket, promoting yourself and your work, and how you can be reached? It may even develop into a neighborhood fan club.
So, next time you are out for a leisurely stroll, or walking your dog and spot a Little Free Library, stop awhile and see if any books are of interest to you — maybe Old Yeller for your dog?
There is even a registry and GPS app for Little Free Library locations around the country. For lots of helpful information about the program, and plans to build your own “Little Free Library,” simply visit littlefreelibrary.org to learn more about this non-profit and its mission.
If you decide to join thousands of your neighbors across the USA, and want to share your experience, take a photo of you and your Little Free Library, along with a few comments, and submit it to our own SDWEG website, where we will post and share with others.