Last month I completed a major book purge and cleared over 230 from my shelves (click here to read about it). I went back and forth on what I wanted to do with all of the books. A lot of them were ARCs so I didn’t feel comfortable trying to take them to a used book store, attempting to get rid of them on Twitter felt stressful and too costly, and I wanted to do more than just drop them off at my nearest Goodwill.
After some deliberation, I convinced my husband to drive me around so I could hop out of the car every five minutes to fill up the little free libraries around our town. The Little Free Library website has a map you are able to search that brings up all the registered libraries in your area. We spent two entire afternoons doing this and it was more fun than I thought it would be!
Our first afternoon was shorter than the second because we were on a bit of a time crunch. We managed to visit seven libraries before our time ran out and I was able to empty two or three tote bags full of books between them. The first library we visited was in front of a house and they had put the cutest little bench out by it. I just loved the care and attention to detail that was present at so many of our stops.
While the majority of them were put up by individual residences, we found a couple that were the joint effort of entire neighborhoods. These often weren’t in front of a house, but instead located more on the corner of a lot or in a greenspace. This was great because I felt like it made it more accessible to the entire neighborhood. It was really amazing to see how these little libraries were bringing people together and it was such a good reminder of how powerful books can be.
One of my favorite libraries from the day was located at a school. It looked like several of the students helped paint it and their names were listed on the back. I also loved the quote, “today a reader, tomorrow a leader” that was included. I’m all about encouraging kids to read, and I think this is a really great way to get them involved and keep them interested.
All the libraries I visited seemed to have been kept in really great shape. It was nice to see that people didn’t put them up only to abandon them. One of the most well kept boxes was the last we visited. I actually almost didn’t go up to this one because the owner of the house was outside working in his yard and my anxiety started going into overdrive.
On the inside the shelves were designated for specific genres to make it easier for visitors to find a book they were interested in or let them know where to leave books they were dropping off. There was also a notebook inside so visitors could leave a note and I loved that personal touch. Another thing I loved was that there was a notecard on the inside of the door asking visitors what books they’d want to see more of in the library and young adult had a mark by it! I’ll definitely be stopping by to drop off more books in this genre next time I have them.
Keep an eye out for part two of this series where I talk about some of the libraries I visited on our second outing! Do you have any little free libraries in your area? Have you ever visited one? Let me know in the comments!