Little Free Libraries

We’re fortunate to live in-between two Little Free Libraries. They’re situated about a half-mile apart. 

All I have to do is walk a quarter-mile in either direction. It’s like having a blind date with a book—you never know what will turn up!

My favorite book find so far is The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

Do you live near a Little Free Library? If yes, what’s your favorite book find so far?


64 thoughts on “Little Free Libraries

  1. Without a doubt, I loved that I found Katherine Graham’s “Personal History” in one. It was especially fascinating to me since I’m old enough to have lived through the Watergate era of course, but also because my daughter has now worked at the Washington Post for about 14 years.

    While I was working there were two Lil Libraries within 3 blocks of my office as well. Always fun to discover what was “new” and unload books I was ready to pass on. And not worry about “late” at the library.

  2. You,lucky devil,you!!! Enjoy
    Due to the lockdown I have not been to the library in months and I dont enjoy audiobooks,
    I succumbed finally and am listening to “Girl,Woman ,Other” by Evaristo It is about black women in Britain last year’s BR Winner.

    • Roamer — I’m definitely lucky! And though you’re not a huge fan of audiobooks, I’m glad that you’re “reading” something. The book you mentiioned, “Girl, Woman, Other” by Evaristo sounds intriguing! I’m going to look it up. 🙂

  3. I love Little Free Libraries! We have so many all around my town, but the closest one is just about 5 houses down the street from me. There have been a lot of children’s books lately, which warms my heart. I think when school (in whatever form that will be) starts next month, it will revert to books for grown-ups. I can wait! I like the idea of kids peeking in and finding their little treasure.

  4. Right now I’m waiting to pick up Stuart Dybek’s Ecstatic Cahoots, 50 Short Stories with a title from The Great Gatsby. My city doesn’t have the whimsy of “a little free library,” but a big free library suits me fine.

    When I began graduate school, one of my professors said Jacksonville’s public library system is excellent. Indeed, the acquisitions department is top notch: I usually find what I’m looking for, even if it has to be acquired through a source like “Overdrive.” Right now, we have two choices for pickup: curbside with an appointment, or one-way-in-one-way-out access, with a touch-less temperature check on entry.

    Great post, Laurie – thank you – and happy reading!

    • Marian — I’m going to have to check out “Ecstatic Cahoots.” The name alone is worth the price of admission!

      Currently in Boise our libraries are only offering curbside pickup with an appointment. We don’t have the option for entry. I use two library apps on my phone: Overdrive and Libby. I can “borrow” books straight onto my Kindle and love it! 🙂

  5. We don´t have any LFLs here in Spain but we have book exchanges in each community by the mailboxes. I, along with a neighbour who doesn´t live here permanently, look after it. I´ve found some good books there. Recently, Graham Swift´s Tomorrow which I´m currently reading.

  6. I love the concept. There are a few in Ottawa, but not near me. However, I work at a library, so bonus! Ours has recently reopened, with restrictions. All items are quarantined for three days upon return, and we workers now look like we’re dressed for surgery before we handle them again. All for the greater good . . .

  7. Aren’t these wonderful? I’ve been so happy to see the rise of this movement over the past few years, against the day we just experienced, when we reached for the public library doors and found all those millions of beautiful books made suddenly unavailable to us…

  8. I googled it and discovered there are two little free libraries in town, but they’re both a little over two miles away. I’ve never seen one before so I will have to investigate. Lucky you having two close by!

  9. I live three miles from our local library and twelve miles from the nearest free library. BUT, when we ran our guest room as an AirBnB (on hiatus due to CoViD) I had essentially a free library in the room (with a little sign:). They could take whatever book they wanted, as long as they promised to leave it where someone else could enjoy it too. It was a simple way to thin out my overflowing bookshelves. While we still offer a tent site and our yurt through AirBnB, I had forgotten the books part. You have spurred me on. I shall move some of those books down to the yurt today. Thank you, Laurie.

    • Janet — I’m so glad this post served as a “spur.” Your guests will love having books available to them!

      One of the cruise ships I was on had a little library up near the crow’s nest. It, too, had a sign saying that you could take any book you wanted as long as you promised to leave it where someone else could enjoy it too. I’ve never forgotten that. I love it!

  10. There’s one of these just around the corner from my house but I haven’t tried it yet. I might have to check it out to get some reading material for my upcoming vacation.

  11. I recently discovered a tiny book-swap alcove tucked away in a corner at our local shops, Laurie. Your post has reminded me that I must go back and investigate it further!

  12. I’ve always loved the idea but in a rural setting they may not get much traffic. Since it’s likely they would have raccoons and possums visiting more often than humans ( and, yes, they are good at undoing latches), I would have reservations about keeping the books protected. But in areas where they have more humans, it seems like such a lovely way to share!

  13. There use to be one up the street from me but the people moved… some friends made one and put it out by their house. I haven’t seen one of late, it certainly would be nice to locate one since the library is basically still closed.

    • Jeff — If you go to the Little Free Library website, then click on “maps,” you can put in your zip code and it will show where where the closest Little Free Library boxes are located 🙂

  14. I enjoyed that book too! But I got it a a ‘regular’ library, not a ‘walk-by.’ There is one in the next town over, and each time I walk by it I think I should give some of my books to it. Btu not sure people are “sharing” books like this during Covid. ;-0

    • Pam — I’m sure the Little Free Library box in the next town over would love you to gift them with one of your books. I’m not sure how that box is situated, but both of the LFL boxes that we’re in-between are situated so that they get full-on sunlight many hours during the day. I’m in great hopes that’s killing any germs there might be.

  15. I used to have one when we lived in Meridian, but we had to move for a better job. The HOA where I live now (Carson City) will not let me put one up, but I just got a pull wagon cart, so I’m going mobile. I have a ton of books accumulated.

  16. Little free Library?
    I doubt if I can find such around me but I buy books from a little book stand very close to my office.
    I just stumbled upon a lovely little book titled; What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell.
    I’m still curious to know what I’ll find in it’s pages.
    Lovely post Laurie!

  17. We are fortunate to have these on our local bike trail. I recently read, Into the dark dark woods, which was great if you enjoy mysteries.

  18. Oh my goodness we don’t have them quite like yours , and believe me , with all libraries still shut , due to lockdown restrictions, I could do with them . We do have old telephone boxes filled with books that you can swap but they tend to get wet and tatty and if you’ve ever been in an old British telephone box you are not likely to get out ( such heavy doors ) I am ploughing though my own library at moment . I can’t believe how many books I have that I haven’t read . I’ll check that one out on Amazon.

      • Must tell you this . Yesterday I drove to my local beach , it was heaving , so I thought no way! So I walked a nearby lane instead , right there was a telephone box full of free book and dry ones at that . I found a book I’d been wanting for a while and a couple of others . I only looked in because of you thank you for that . Hey! I even bought a plant in the same lane that someone was selling outside their house .Woot woot!

    • B. Lynn Goodwin — I put copies of my books in our local Little Free Library boxes, too (as well as take/return books I want to read).

      Thank you so much for sending a link to the opening of your book, NEVER TOO LATE 🙂

  19. We love little free libraries and are lucky enough to have three within two blocks! At least 3 more are within 3 more blocks. We found great children’s books in them, even a couple in Spanish!

  20. I love Little Free Libraries! I live pretty close to 3 of them. My favorite so far was actually a cookbook called The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. It was an unexpected find but I love the recipes I’ve made from it so far.

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