Friday, August 14, 2015

Little Free Libraries

Have you noticed all the Little Free Libraries popping up in people's yards everywhere?  They're usually shaped like miniature houses, set on a post like a mailbox, with big doors on the fronts and books inside.  The idea is to take a book to read, and leave a book for someone else, so that the library always stays replenished.

They're becoming quite common in the Denver Metro area, especially in some of the trendier areas, but I've been mystified to hear from time to time about people hating on them.  Then I saw this article.

Who doesn't love a Little Free Library? The vandal who set one on fire

This hits close to home, as Denver's Congress Park neighborhood isn't all that far from where I live.  And earlier this year, I heard about someone (I don't remember where) dealing with code enforcement after their neighbors turned them in for building one of these in their front yard.

People are ridiculous.

Personally, I think book exchanges -- whether in a Little Free Library in someone's front yard, or in a neighborhood coffee shop -- are a great idea.  Not everyone likes getting books from the library, whether because of the massive wait on new bestsellers, or the idea of how many people handle the book before it falls into your hands.  Plus, Little Free Libraries offer a good way to put to use the many books we buy but don't need or want to keep.

I've use book exchanges before, mostly at coffee shops and the like, but I've never used a Little Free Library.  They came about eight years too late for me -- I like ebooks far too much now to go back to print.  A decade ago, though, I would have loved the idea of a neighborhood book exchange.  Moreover, I don't feel like a Little Free Library is in any way an issue in a neighborhood.

What about you?  Do you have Little Free Libraries in your area, and do you use one?  Are you in support or opposed to them?

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