Well, not really everywhere, but we certainly have seen a lot of them as we've crisscrossed the US, both back in 2013-14 and the year just past. I've mentioned this from time to time in this blog.
But one particular day this past July really took the cake.
I never had time to blog this when it happened as we were moving around a lot, and I had so many posts to write, but now that we're settled down in Florida for the winter, I finally have time to do some catch up posts from the past.
We were in Minnesota, camping in the city park in the town of Melrose very close to the Lake Wobegon Trail. I had a few books to exchange and had seen on the Little Free Library website that there was one in the nearby town of Albany, just a short distance off the main trail on a northern trail extension. So, since we had a ride planned in that direction (east), I loaded up my little backpack with my books, and off we went.
Here's the blog post from that ride. I didn't mention the Little Free Library aspect of it as the blog post was long enough, and I planned to cover it in another post; I just didn't realize it would be half a year later!
So here's where the Little Free Libraries come in...
This is what the neighborhood looked like, temporarily!
I left three books and took only one, since I didn't find anything that really floated my boat. Still, an unread book is better than three read ones any day, so I considered this a success.
What I didn't know was that had I looked a bit farther east on the Little Free Library map, I would have found that there were not one but TWO other locations in the vicinity. This came as a complete surprise to me! We just happened upon them at a couple of the trailheads as we pedaled through, and by the third one, I had to laugh.
I ended up trading the book I picked up at library #1 at one of the other two. And I saw so many good books in these that I regretted only taking one at the first location, since I could have easily traded my three for three more!
So that is my strangest experience with Little Free Libraries!
And Winter Garden has one too!
Not as strange but definitely welcome was our discovery a couple of weeks ago of a Little Free Library right here in Winter Garden! We happened upon this location when walking back from the farmer's market on our first Saturday in town, although it actually doesn't appear on the Little Free Library website map, for some reason.
Isn't this a charming neighborhood? I just love it.
Yesterday I finally remembered to take a couple of books along to trade on the way back from the farmer's market.
I only took one book from the library as there were lots of kids' books and several I'd already read, but I'm looking forward to the one I nabbed, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.
In my opinion, the world needs even more Little Free Libraries. Both children and adults need more encouragement than ever to read books in our current world filled with online distractions. Yours truly is certainly not immune to these, despite being a lifelong bookworm!
In case you're unfamilar with these adorable "tiny houses" for books, they are simply a spot for people to leave a book (or a few) that they're finished with and take another book or two in exchange. No library card required, and they operate on the honor system. From the many I've visited, people really do seem to respect that. Readers are good peeps in general, and these little libraries are such a smart addition to the sharing economy. I love them because they have introduced me to many books and authors I might never have discovered otherwise AND because I love the concept of sharing books!
If you love books and have a yard or even a business where a Little Free Library might be appropriate, I encourage you to sign up. The Little Free Library website includes all the information you need to get started.
And watch out...if you do start one, I might just come visiting one day!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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