Little Free Libraries

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A few months ago, I was taking a walk around my neighborhood and I noticed a cute little box with a chair next to it. The box was shaped like a little house and was sitting atop a pole. Inside, there were books!

free little library

The Free Little Library in front of my neighbor’s house.

I opened the little door and rummaged through the books. There were several novels, some children’s books and some nonfiction books.

These books were free for the taking.

The idea is to share books with your neighbors: Take a book, return a book.

The other day, while walking through a different neighborhood, I saw another one of these little house libraries. This time, I chose several books to take home with me, including a book I had been wanting to read called “The Goldfinch“, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction last year.

What a score!


I scored The Goldfinch!

Apparently, these cute little houses are actually called Little Free Libraries and they are part of a global movement to promote the sharing of literature and stories among neighbors.

According to the website:    

Back in 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS.

Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises.Together, the two saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of goals for the common good.  

By the summer of 2010, the mission and purposes served by the little boxes of books were becoming more clear. The original models had all been built with recycled materials. Each was unique but all shared the theme of exchanging good books and bringing people together for something positive.

By January of 2014, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world was conservatively estimated to be nearly 15,000, with thousands more being built.

I love this idea, especially because I love books and reading.

Do you?

Maybe you want to have one in your neighborhood.

If you are interested, check out their website and learn about the 5 steps you need to take to get involved.

It’s a great idea and a great way to share your favorite books with others.

In one of the little libraries, I found a book in Spanish and in another one I found a bilingual English/French book, which I took, because I am learning French.

This would be a great way to share books in different languages and by a wide variety of authors in different genres.

I love it!


little library

Here’s Nicole checking out the books.

Join the Conversation

Write your answers in the comments section below.

1. Have you ever seen a Little Free Library in your neighborhood?

2. Would you like to have one in your neighborhood? Why or why not?

3. If you had one in front of your house, what types of books would you put inside, to share with others? Give three titles.