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Book Lovers Are Everywhere!

August 24, 2012

By Karen Ruben

Book lovers are everywhere. How do I know this? Little Free Libraries are popping up where you least expect them!

If you haven’t heard of them, Little Free Libraries are free book exchanges that are put up by, well, just about anybody, anywhere.

CLiF recently helped to stock some Little Free Libraries in Bolton, a Vermont town that lacks an official library. They are mostly built and stocked by individuals who love sharing books with, well, just about anybody.

The books are free for the taking. If you are able, you can leave a book in exchange for the one you took, but if you are not able, it is perfectly okay to just help yourself and pay it forward when you can.

I came across one this weekend in such a cool place. I just happened to be on the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay, NY. By my incredible good fortune, I also happened to be in a boat full of mommies, in a narrow channel, on a sunny day. On one side of this 40-foot channel was the U.S, and on the other was Canada, and on a tiny island in between was a cottage. The cottage had a dock, and at the end of the dock, accessible only by boat, was a Little Free Library.

Needless to say, the mommies were interested. We circled back for a closer look and had a great time pouring over the books inside. One of us found a great Roald Dahl for her ten-year-old son. She couldn’t wait to return with both of her boys to contribute books to the cause.

Surely if the stewards of this particular library had been in residence we would have chatted with them until the moon came up. (Lucky for them they were not there.) But this is exactly what is so great about a Little Free Library.

We passed a lot of islands that day (a Thousand Islands, maybe). We commented on the architecture, or the location, but we didn’t engage with any other particular place. This Little Free Library was like an invitation, a kindness that we couldn’t pass by. It spoke to us about the people who put it there and what is important to them. It made us want to know them. It is a little step toward building a community, in this case a community that bridges two nations.

As we motored away from the little island our boat was filled with the talk of books we have read, books we hope to read, books good enough to share. Just like CLiF presents an invitation to children to read, talk, think, share and become a community, this Little Free Library inspired us.

Once again, I am left to marvel at the power of books.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2012 5:51 pm

    I’ve heard about this Little Free Libraries before. I just can’t remember where, but I think I’ve read them on the papers. But anyway, I love this idea. It’s very sweet and noble. I haven’t seen one up close yet but I’m hoping I will soon. Great post!

  2. Karen permalink
    August 25, 2012 1:12 am

    I know. They are still kind of rare. This was my first sighting in the wild. But I think we will be seeing more and more of them soon. To see if there is one near you, you can check the world map on the First Little Libraries site. Here is the link. http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/
    Thanks for your comment.

  3. Mimoe permalink
    August 26, 2012 5:26 pm

    What a great way to demonstrate the power of “sharing” and “reading”.

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