Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little Lending Library


So normally when I go for a walk, I'm like WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH down the street at super speed, going so fast I barely notice ANYTHING (unless the fat squirrel is out—we always stop to feed the fat squirrel). But this week, since hubby has been home, I've been walking with him... at about 1/32nd my normal pace. You think I'm exaggerating, don't you? Well if he were walking his NORMAL pace, I only double him (seriously--I do--he meanders, I power walk). But he is low on blood and tires easily. I don't want him to fall down. So we've SLOWED down even from HIS poky pace. And I've noticed something a little bit precious on my block...


Two houses have these signs in front of their house... and then these BOXES of Books!(not just boxes--weatherproof havens)  Outside, right there to borrow on the honor system.

Now I've been part of workplaces before that had bookshelves for sharing. In fact I've found some of my FAVORITE EVER books that way (The Poisonwood Bible and The Red Tent come to mind)--books I may not have bought for their description, but that I ADORED when I read them. They were profound. So I love a system like this.

But I've never seen it somewhere BESIDES a workplace (if you don't count me pilfering books from my mother's house). What a BRILLIANT idea this is at a neighborhood level!

What I REALLY want to know is... is this some official bigger thing? Is this an Only In Ann Arbor thing? Is it regional? National? A website people can order from to implement wherever somebody gets the wild hair? Have any of YOU ever seen it? I suppose having a box of books sitting outside, unwatched, is something you'd need a crime-free neighborhood for--not just for theft, but vandals, too. But how cool is this!?

I can tell you MY plan. I have my eyes open for June (the woman in the house—she's been in our neighborhood... maybe from the start—a long time, anyway)—I want to ask permission to put a copy of my book in it. And as I finish my LARGE TBR pile, I am HAPPY to donate to it. I love the idea. I might even consider one at our house in the future, but not while we have the birdies in our mailbox. I wouldn't want all the extra activity just yet.



22 comments:

Trisha said...

I haven't heard of it happening out of some lady's house, nope. Sounds like a totally groovy idea, though!

Jan Morrison said...

I love this! I'm afraid my subdivision is too small but perhaps! Having just gotten rid of over three hundred quite good books this idea appeals to me - especially the TAKE part! I love libraries and anything where perfectly books get passed around. It gives me hope for the world.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a really cool idea. And no, I've never seen it before.

Old Kitty said...

We have something called book swapping at work but I've never seen this scheme in the great outdoors or indeed infront of anyone's house! I love this idea though!!! It's truly most NAKED! Yay! take care
x

Liwi said...

Love these! In my hometown they're usually located near churches, I just found out there's one just down the street from my dad's place! And they're not usually 'barns' but full size bookshelves! So neat!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Those are adorable! You must live in a nice neighborhood.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

What a great idea! I haven't seen it anywhere. When I walk I'm always trying t break my own time so like you I don't notice much.

Hart Johnson said...

Trisha-it IS, isn't it?

Jan-yeah--probably need a critical mass to make it worth it--that's true.

Alex, I know, right?

Kitty-VERY naked!

Liwi-A church (or near a church) seems like a great place for it, too!

Diane-it's a great neighborhood, and also a readerly town.

Hart Johnson said...

Mary-that is me, too--I am trying to keep up my pace so I breathe hard.

Joe Bauer said...

http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/

vbtremper said...

OMZ I love this idea! I haven't seen it before, but kudos to your neighbors. When I lived in Africa, my boss and his wife had a huge book collection and let me borrow whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and I read all kinds of stuff that I might not have otherwise (including non-fic). It was awesome, and helped keep me sane so far from home.

-Vicki

Hattie Gunter said...

That's so cool! I've seen that sort of thing in Starbucks, but not in neighborhoods... Too cool!

And the way you described your walking made me giggle.

Hart Johnson said...

Hey, Joe--excellent! Thanks for the link!

Vicki-Oh, I can imagine someplace so different, especially where life might be a little hard, that books would help immensely!

Hattie-Oh, Starbucks is another good spot!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

What a wonderful, sharing and trusting idea!

This kind of reminds me of slowing down to smell the roses, but instead it is slowing down to notice the books.

Have a super day, Hart!

Kathy M.

Sarah Ahiers said...

OMg how AWESOME is this??!
I wish my neighborhood could do this. We can't though. We live on a park and the teen element is... less than respectful. And there's other crime too.
BUT! You should definitely ask if you can put your book in it! I think that's a genius idea!

Sarah Allen said...

Holy cow that is so cool! Love that idea. I'll have to see if its around Provo. Wishing a speedy recovery for your hubby!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Cassie Mae said...

I want a little book barn in my neighborhood. Never seen that but it's awesome! If I had a published book, I'd totally want to put it in there too. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm still catching up with everyone after being on vacation for three weeks. How scary about HWMNBNOTI. I hope he heals soon. And I hope the doctors know the cause and will fix him so it doesn't happen again. On to books...I've seen those on Pinterest, but not in my own neighborhood. I walk in the mornings, so I'm going to keep an eye out. (laughing at that image)

Hart Johnson said...

Kathy-it IS nice to slow down now and then, isn't it?

Sarah-Oh, that's too bad to have some troublemakers around!

Sarah-Provo's a college town, yes? Probably it would be a great fit there!

Cassie- you should look into it!

Carol-thanks for the good thoughts on HWMNBMOTI! And PINTEREST! Ha! I've never been, but this does seem like the kind of thing to find there.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I heard about these on the radio, Hart but I've never seen one. Pretty cool. Any good books?

Christine Murray said...

I love it! Great idea :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

What a charming idea.... I can certainly see how perfectly it would work in your neighborhood, especially after visiting you last summer.

But, I have never seen it anywhere outside throughout a neighborhood.