I love a good book. And when I am done reading, I love sharing my books with others. I am the person who gets excited at a cottage when I see the sign: Have a book? Leave a book. Want a book? Take a book. So, I was quite delighted when I discovered Little Free Libraries scattered across Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood. Picture quirky, adorable little houses — or libraries — posted outside people's homes with the purpose of sharing books. They just evoke a feeling of community.
The 5000 registered Little Free Libraries in the world and approximately 1000 unregistered ones got their start in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin when Todd Bol mounted a wooden container looking like a school house on his front lawn to honour his mom who was a teacher and book lover. With his friend and partner Rick Brooks, they spread the word and began to offer library boxes for sale on their website or owners can create their own.
Unlike a traditional library, you don't need a card, there are no late fees. There is an honour system in place in that you may return your finished book to another Little Free Library or donate some of your own. The units always seem to be fully stocked with new books and maintain a flow — book lovers respect books and will pass them along!
If you are interested in finding a Little Free Library in your area or even buying or creating one of your own, visit the website to see its designs and a map of registered locations. These aren't just for the front lawns of houses either — what a wonderful community outreach for a business too! I am all for anything that encourages reading — the more fun the better.