Nothing pleases an avid reader more than access to an abundance of books. Personal collections, book stores, thrift shops, garage sales, libraries, even e-books — all are welcome sources to those afflicted with ‘book-itis’. This time of year, a stack of paperbacks and a shady outdoor spot to read without interruption is the ultimate summertime indulgence.

The ultimate horror to a book lover like myself is running out of reading material. It is unlikely to happen, but even the thought of it sends shivers up and down my spine. What if the library is closed? What if I accidentally left my book at home when I head off for my vacation? Should I find myself in this predicament in the future, I need no longer fear. The Little Free Library is at hand.

Little Free Library

Recently I discovered one of these sweet little neighbourhood book stands right around the corner in my town. Established by a homeowner on his property, the little case on a pole is a delightful source of free books, available at any time of day or night.

library-Summerland I didn’t realize at the time that these little book boxes have taken root in many communities. So it was with surprise and pleasure that I discovered a little library tucked away near the Harbourfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia on a recent vacation.

library-Halifax Then a few days later, I happened upon another in downtown Charlottetown, PEI. I began to wonder about them, and did a little digging.

library-Charlottetown

In 2009, Todd Bol of Wisconsin built a model of a one-room schoolhouse, filled it with books and set it on a pole in his yard. Eventually the idea grew to become the social enterprise of today, focused on book access and forging community connections. The organization provides building instructions, online resources, plus a world map of registered Little Free Libraries. Today, over 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries are found in over 70 countries!

Great travel resource

Thrilled to discover this resource, I anticipate seeking out a free little library while on my travels in the future. Certain of a way to exchange my book, I plan to continue packing just one book in my luggage. No matter where I roam—whether it be a thousand miles away, or a hundred steps from home, a little free library will be on my travel itinerary.

Do you have a Little Free Library in your community?

2 thoughts on “Little Free Library: A Neighbourhood Gem

  1. I remember seeing one around the corner from Vicki and Dan’s place in the North end of Halifax, when we were there. I think they are a great idea. I should start one at my place, as I always have so many extra books! My house isn’t really on anyone’s walking path though. I thought I’d heard that there is one in Trout Creek somewhere?

  2. I found one of these little free libraries on Vancouver Island, near my daughter’s house. It is a perfect distance for a walk. I am happy to hear that they are showing up in other countries too.

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