Little Red Free Library

IMG_8657About 8:45 p.m. this evening, August 10, 2017, the Little Red Free Library was officially open for business. Sylvia designed and built this wonderful little library for me.

I had a lofty goal of being able to have read all of the books that I put into the library, but that wasn’t possible. Some books I just can’t let go. Some books, such as Daughters of the Copper Woman by Anne Cameron, I just happened to have two copies, so it was easy to let the book go. I’m not surprised that Daughters was one of the first books to be borrowed.

I have a lot of books, books I want to read, but I haven’t gotten around to them. For some books, I taped notes on the inside cover and asked the prospective readers that if they thought the book was worth my attention, could they bring it back? We’ll see what happens.

I even created a newsletter, though I’m not sure if listing the books is a good idea. Or perhaps having only one copy would be more efficient. In less than five hours, two books were borrowed. Daughters  of Copper Woman by Anne Cameron, and The Great Northwest by William Robbins.

The Great Northwest is a fine example of a book that I was torn to let go of. It looks so interesting.  The following blurb is from Goodreads:

For more than 150 years, Pacific Northwest writers have sought out the region’s shared stories and traditions in an attempt to explain the common features of its places and people. A key element in the study of place and region is the relationship between human experience and the natural world. This newest volume in the acclaimed Culture and Environment in the Pacific West series offers a compelling blend of ideas and perspectives on regional identity in the Pacific Northwest.”

But I let it go because how interesting it looks. My hope is that people will read it and bring it back and this will be the testimony that it should be my next book. If it doesn’t come back, well you know how that cliché goes.

In this “round” of books, I went with the premise that I would go from A to Z. Asimov, Bach (Richard not Sebastian), Cameron, Dickinson. I was surprised that the Emily Dickinson book is still there; this one is geared towards kids and the illustrations are wonderful.

I have a great collection of classics, so I Faulkner’s there with Irving (John not Washington, though I probably do have some Washington Irving.

Goodreads doesn’t have Gabriel Garcia Marquez listed as an author I have read, and I can’t rely on my memory. Some books I have the date read on the inside cover, but I’ve never had a good tracking system. Love in the Time of Cholera is a book that if it’s not gone the next time I look, I just may bring it back, though my printed newsletter will keep me from doing that. Perhaps after I finish The Round House by Louise Erdrich, a library book I checked out for my book club, I’ll be motivated to read Love in the Time.

There are just too many books I want to read. The Little Red Free Library motivates me to either read it or put it out for borrowing.

Five hours into this library experience, I went out to see the changes. Only one person wrote in the guest book, but that’s okay. Someone had added Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. Now I have to decide whether to put that new addition on my books to read next or add it to the little library. And then of course, there’s the book of his, Blink, that is another must read. Gladwell’s the kind of author that is too important to sit on a bookshelf gathering dust. The more people who can read the book the better.

I’d love to figure out how to track books; to know in what hands these books land in. Tracking my library patrons’ interest would be another thing to do.

I’ve blogged in the past about Maddy Wetmore, the Weston children’s librarian, and my mom’s best friend. I admired how well she knew taste and interest of the kids who came to her. She was always saying, “I have a book you will love.” If I could carry on Maddy’s mission of putting good books into my community, I’ll feel good about the time spent doing this little library.


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