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Free Books at Little Libraries

September 24, 2013
From the Little Free Library Facebook page

From the Little Free Library Facebook page

What’s the matter? Are you sad that the weekend of the Seattle Public Library book sale came and went and you either forgot about it or didn’t have time to get there? Are you sighing over the lost chance to get paperbacks for $1 and hardbacks for $2…or even getting them for half price on Sunday. 

Well, fear not, fellow bibliophile. There’s no use in crying over spilled books, especially now that there’s a way to get books for free…even if it is only one or two books at a time. All you have to do is find a Little Free Library in your neighborhood.

In case you haven’t heard of the Little Free Library movement, the little libraries work like glorified book exchange where you leave a book you’ve just finished and trade it for one you want. Unlike most book exchanges that tend to be connected to youth hostels, hotels and other businesses with fixed hours, these Little Libraries are open around the clock because they’re usually in some sort of fancy book box on a neighborhood street corner. Some of them are fancy, some of them are non-descript, but all contain hundreds of pages of adventure year round. 

The CB was reluctant on how good such a system could be until he went to one in his neighborhood late at night. Since he had finished all the books from a recent library book sale, he wasn’t sure what to expect, but he was pleasantly surprised when he discovered that the library he chose had a light in it that went on when he opened the door (it was 1 a.m., after all) and he picked up two books that he never would have otherwise considered. One was about “Hellhounds on His Trail” about the manhunt for Martin Luther King Jr’s killer and the other was a sci-fi book called “Jennifer Government.” And the CB enjoyed them immensely even though he never would have picked up either if he’d been at a book store, a regular library or a book sale. 

His favorite, most recent find was a water-damaged copy of “Bossypants” by Tina Fey, which he just finished. 

Sure, the book was warped, but it was still a great read. 

A recent story in Red Tricycle lists 38 official Little Libraries in Seattle, but the CB is sure there are far more because he knows of four just in his neighborhood in Wedgwood alone. 

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up that book you just finished, go for a walk and look for one in your neighborhood. Or you could look at this map, but it takes a lot of work to get to Washington state and it doesn’t list all of them. 

Who knows? You might end up seeing something like this:

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