Can This Little Book House Be My Next Strictly Feel-Good Project?

free library

Has anyone put up a Little Free Library yet?  Have you seen one in your neck of the woods?  I love love love this idea!  And I SO hope the grandkids and I can make it happen in our neighborhood.

Backtracking a bit…I have three grands (ages 9, 8, and 7) who LOVE to do projects at home.  The oldest is the ringleader.  (I can’t imagine where she gets this.)  She comes up with stuff on her own every other day, and she enlists the other two, plus friends, plus Nana.  We have an area dedicated to bookshelves that we call “the library,” and the latest project was rearranging, categorizing and labeling shelves, and checking out books to their friends.  The 7 year old was the go-fer—Go ask Nana if this one is Romance or Mystery—and she was tireless. 

So along comes a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about Little Free Libraries, “the brainchild of Stillwater native Todd Bol, are popping up all over Minnesota, from tony Lowry Hill to St. Paul’s rough-and-tumble East Side to placid Detroit Lakes.”  Lovely weather-proof boxes are set up on posts sort of like bird feeders.  Only they’re brain feeders.  People give and take books from the box.  Who doesn’t have books sitting around that have been read and enjoyed and ought to be shared?

It’s a growing movement, and I want in on it.  I know three kids who would love to help maintain the box.  I know just where this should go in our neighborhood.  Now, If I could just get permission to put it up in that ideal spot.  Well, first I have to make or buy the box.  It has to be attractive, right?  Making it might be a challenge for the kids and me, but we know a certain cowboy who’s very handy with tools and who just completed what he declared to be his “final project for this year,” which was completely replacing one of our decks.  So this little house would be a piece o’ cake.  And, of course, we four can help

Oh, you guys, you have to check out this web site and see some of the Little Free Libraries that people have put up.  Look at the stories on the blog.  You can get free plans to build your own, or you can order one of the handmade models available in a range of price.  Browse the LFL site and see some of the original designs.  For a donation you can get an official Little Free Library number and sign for your tiny book station, plus newsletters and stuff.  Isn’t that the coolest thing?    I can see a fairy house at Michele’s abode, maybe a barn at Lois’s or Cindy’s, a surfer shack for Christie.  And for the Eagles?  We’ve always wanted a log cabin.

I really want to do this.  Okay, like I need another project, but I really want to do this.  Stay tuned.

Apropos of growing movements, one more site writers and readers alike might want to take a look at is occupywriters.com.  It’s a place to sign your name one of the works you’ve published under a simple statement:  “We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.”  In addition to signatures, some authors—you’ll recognize many of the names—have contributed original pieces of writing.  It’s interesting from a possible history-in-the-making perspective if nothing else.

Are you a project person?  What kinds of projects have you gotten yourself into lately?  What was you biggest undertaking?  What was your best?

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About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
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16 Responses to Can This Little Book House Be My Next Strictly Feel-Good Project?

  1. leannebanks says:

    The Little Book Houses are so cute! And what a cool idea. They look like they are the size of large mailboxes. I think this is a wonderful grassroots effort! Enjoy Kathleen!:)

  2. Laurie G says:

    My daughter ‘s neighbors put one out. All the books in it were Greg Lisle and Stuart Woods. I told her I would bring some of my romance titles. It’s a very nice mailbox with flower planters on both sides. Very eye catching!

    As for projects, the latest was a crib sized baby blanket for my future grandchild.

    • Laurie, thanks for reporting an actual LFL spotting!
      Baby blankets are such wonderful projects. My firstborn got a gorgeous quilt from his godmother, a dear friend who had worked on it from the time we got married until our son was born 2 1/2 years later. It wqas intricately embroidered. I used it with all 3 babies, and it finally fell apart. I kick myself every time I think about it–not for using it, but for not saving any of it. I wasn’t a big saver back then. Had no idea how much things like that would come to mean later. The good news is, I still have the dear friend.

      • Florence says:

        Kathleen, We love the idea of the little boxes. Our family project for today is to clean the attic of the nearly 1,000+ books that line the attic from front to back, top to bottom!!!!
        We are going to put them on the front porch and let them be taken by who ever. What is left over will go to a local book store for them to re-sell.
        Maybe from now on we will put our books in a little box somewhere in our town. I will mention it to a few of the women who have a very loose reading circle.
        Unfortunately we have to be careful of those who would sooner destroy the book box than read the book within. Sad.
        And as for the saving things, I am a pack rat, who is trying to be a former pack rat. We were recently flooded like nearly everyone on the East Coast, so that cleared out a lot of things for me.
        I am trying to use this mantra “the ____ (blanket, cake stand, ??) is not the person, it is/was only a thing. Some days it works, other days the heart doesn’t listen to the brain.
        But the memories of that person can never be taken.
        And I know I can barely wait for your next book!

  3. michelehauf says:

    That is such a neat idea, Kathy! I could see it being really fun if the whole neighborhood got involved and the kids had a ‘route’ to check out different books.

  4. Helen Brenna says:

    Kathy, this is an awesome idea. I hope you can make it happen!

    I love projects because I love doing things with my hands. You finish a project and you have something to show for it. It’s not like doing the laundry or cleaning – everything dirty again in a couple days.

    I’ve had a couple of big undertakings, but the most fun was building a dollhouse for my daughter. I had a kit, but did it all myself. It’s been put away for years, but can’t wait to bring it out again some day for grandkids!

    • Oh, Helen, a dollhouse! You know I’m drooling. I bought a kit and made one with my daughter years back, but it wasn’t the best kit, so it was fun to do but didn’t turn out to be something we put away for posterity.

  5. I love this idea. I’ve sort of done this recently. I put a basket of books in my nail tech’s workplace to give to clients or anyone who wants one. I went in yesterday. I need to haul up more books! About 1/2 of them were gone.

  6. pjpuppymom says:

    What a wonderful idea! I love it!

    We added bookshelves to our clubhouse a couple years ago that function as an unofficial neighborhood “library.” I also leave baskets of gently used paperbacks at a local nursing home and the local cancer treatment center and I’ve noticed when I stop by with new books that others have been leaving books in the basket too. Makes me feel good.

  7. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea… I don’t think it has caught on in Canada, Maybe in ruaral areas. I live in the city. I will have to ask one of my friends who lives in the country if she has seen such a thing… Good luck with yours.

  8. catslady says:

    I too think it’s a great idea. People could put them up in their own yards if they wanted. I use to do so many more projects before the computer. I taught myself to crochet, needlepoint and a bit of knitting. One year I made homemade ornaments.

  9. debradixon says:

    Where are my comments going? Sometimes I hate the internet! (g)

    I had commented to say that I love this idea so much it was going to be my next blog. LOL! So, I’ll have to come up with something new for Tuesday!!

    The little libraries are charming and such a good community builder. The can connect us in ways that make us remember we’re all in this together. We’re not that different from each other.

    Plus, free books! Awesome, always.

  10. Laurie G says:

    My daughter ‘s place is in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (Sherwood Forest subdivision). Located NE of Madison. If anyone’s in the neighborhood.

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