Brand Next Door: Little Free Library

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I come from a family of librarians. My grandma, mom and uncle all spent many years with the Dewey Decimal System and teaching me about books. I remember sitting at our dining room table reading my first book with my grandma - Norma Jean Jumping Bean - at four years old, and never going back. After that first book, I read everything - and, much to my parents' chagrin, out loud.

Reading is a part of me. My grandma allows us all a lot of leeway, but she would never let us have a TV at our lake cabin. We play games, we talk, we read and we get off the grid completely. I can't tell you how many books I've read on our dock. Page after page and story after story.

I've been having a major internal struggle for the past few years, though. It's two-fold: Teaching standardized tests trained me to read differently. Yes, I majored in English, but they don't teach you grammar skills in school anymore. Not at the level I learned them after graduating. It's been about four years since I taught the SAT, but I still have a hard time escaping into books. I used to finish any book I started, based mostly on principle. Now, if I find myself correcting grammar or judging syntax, I can't concentrate on the story. I've become very hipster about it. Some of that mass appeal stuff I won't even open. 50 Shades of Grey is a great example. Not saying it's bad, just that it's not for me. I had a hard time reading the Twilight series, but since I'd already started, I finished it all. And I judged the weird flowery language the whole time.

Also, social media. My attention span operates in 140 characters or fewer. I find myself scrolling apps instead of diving into my books. I need to be better. I need to pay devoted, long-term attention.

That's where Little Free Library comes in. I had set a few books aside that I wanted to donate to the Little Free Libraries around our neighborhood. On one of our recent walks, Raz and I hit THREE of them. I donated to the first and really wanted to bring a new book home to read, but didn't find anything I wanted until the last stop.

Donating Water for Elephants. Pretty good read, mediocre movie.
Our first stop. The sidewalk here was made of a strange bouncy rubber material I was really feeling.
Second stop. Raz and I had to pull up a map of the Libraries on his phone, but we found it! 
Grocery store status collection here, though.
The last stop, and my favorite. I love seeing Libraries dedicated to someone special.
That side door holds the guest book.
Library love notes.
New read! I'll let you know how I like it (haven't seen the movie).

I'd love to know what you're reading - always looking to add to my collection. 


  1. I really need to check these out! I think it is such a great idea. I just got back from vacation, which always entails easy reads so now that I have that one out of the way I'm now reading 12 years a slave. Only 150 pages too!

    1. They're so great, Sarah! I've been seeing them everywhere since I wrote about them :). I need to pick up 12 Years - thanks for the suggestion! Love the short books.


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