I Love {Little Free Library}

I’ve wanted a Little Free Library ever since I ran across my first one at a park years ago. Well, Honey and the boys surprised me with a kit last Spring (as in 2018!). It needed to be painted, partially assembled and installed, and other more time sensitive projects kept popping up. For my Christmas gift, I asked only to have my Little Free Library completed. Honey painted it before the holiday and then installed it after our trip to Savannah last December.

A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community; Little Libraries have been called “mini-town squares.”

Anyone may contribute or take books. The more the merrier! If you take a book (or two) from a Library, you do not need to return that exact book. However, in order to keep the Little Library full of good choices for the whole neighborhood, the next time you swing by the Library bring a few books to share. Little Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside. This way, we all win!

I have been enjoying this treasure for seven months and it just keeps getting better and better. There are some days that I walk to the end of the driveway and forget to even check the mail because I just want to pour over new titles and finds. At times I felt like I was the last human reading paper books, but it seems there are plenty of others out there if my library is any indication. I add our own books as we finish them, and often take one out of the library to save for my next read.

Honey painted the library the same color as the house, and inside the same color as the doors on the house. This was a kit from Little Free Library, and these were the few books we started with in December.

I tried to be thoughtful and intentional with the library, keeping in mind the neighbors I figured would frequent it. It is placed on our side street, away from the busy corner. Honey added a dog hook because many of the people out and about around here are walking their fur babies. Since the photo above, I have also added a mason jar of small dog treats. We installed a motion sensitive light in the roof of the library because it was getting so dark so early when we first put it out this winter. Finally, I welcome books of all types and try to keep a good mix. We have children’s books, a variety of fiction, and a few reference titles. I also have a guest book where some neighbors have started a wish list.

The Little Free Library has brought me so much joy over the last seven months! I really can’t think of a better Christmas gift that I’ve ever received. And, to think I get to share my love of reading with my neighbors and community too. There are more than 80,000 registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in 91 countries worldwide and one of those is on my little corner of suburban Atlanta.

Little Free Library

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15 thoughts on “I Love {Little Free Library}

  1. I’m actually in the process of working with my office building’s management to put a little free library in the park in the middle of our complex. The park circles a giant centuries old live oak tree, and there are benches all around it.. i like to sit there and read when the weather is nice!! I considered putting one near my house, but I didn’t think it would get as much traffic as the one near the office, so that’s why I contacted them about it. I’m super excited!! Also, you know I have OODLES of books… do you want me to send you some for your library? I’m excited to see that you are doing this!!

  2. This is the cutest idea! We used to do something similar when we used to rent out our VT condo. I kept some books on a shelf with a note to take one and leave one. I love your idea even better. What a sweet way to contribute to your community!

  3. I really like the Little Free Libraries I have found – I always check them out on our travels – I don’t have to pack books to read when there’s bad weather, etc . And I take my grandchildren to one near us when they visit – they think it is a big treat! One of the libraries near me is actually a little house with a table and chairs; the children in the family keep it clean and organized! So nice!

  4. Oh my goodness Amanda,
    Your “Little Library” is just too cute and my I add that Honey did a terrific job of customizing it as well. What a great idea especially if you live in a large residential neighborhood. I have seen them before but only in public places.

    Recently, I took some books to a large major chain bookstore that has a buy-back program. I was so disappointed at what they gave me it wasn’t even worth my gas to bring them. The only one benefiting was the company. From now on I will donate them rather than “give” them away for pennies on the dollar so that a company can make all the money. I love how these “Little Libraries” also encourage younger children to read. Yesterday, I actually witnessed a young neighbors child reading a book while swinging under a tree. It did my heart good!

  5. Love this Amanda. You added some extra practical features like the light and pet hook. These little libraries bring a smile to my face every time I see them.

    When my hubby and I take long drives or road trips, I am always on the look out to see what others have done to decorate their little libraries. Your post today gave me an idea. I am going to make certain I have a few books in my vehicle to pass along. I think I will tuck a note inside so the reader can see where the book came.

  6. This is awesome! We found our first one in Athens about 6 years ago, and have wanted one ever since. I love yours! xo

  7. I have wanted a Little Library for years as well and now feel inspired all over again. I just read your post out loud in hopes of encouraging my husband to do as yours did 😉.

  8. I am in the process of building mine right now. I am painting mine with a space theme because I live in the rocket city. I love the idea of dog treats too. I am going to steal that idea. I was doing to put dogie bags on mine as well because I have a couple neighbors that don’t pick up throw dogs poop. Hopefully that will work!

  9. What a great idea to put one of these ” Little Libraries” in your neighborhood. We have a small community newspaper in my town called the Village News and they featured a article about the “Little Libraries” just this week and announced they had put one in our county park. Interesting fact about the libraries is that there is over 80,000 of them in 90 different countries!

    BTW….Honey did a great job of customizing your library. Next time I have books to donate I will use one of these. I recently took some books to a major bookstore chain that has a buy-back program. I was very disappointed at what I got and it wasn’t worth my gas to take them. They only one that benefited was the store.

  10. I always wanted a LFL in Atlanta but never got around to it. Our new house in Seattle came with one! It’s so much fun to see what folks leave. Once my kids found a handful of tiny origami animals inside with cheerful messages written on them. Someone left a stack of Seinfeld DVDs (which were gone that day). My daughter was thrilled on one rainy day to find a stack of Vogue back issues (I tried to explain we should not remove things from our own library, haha). It’s on a bit of a tourist path from the local ice cream shop down to a skyline viewpoint, so we get lots of curious tourists, too. The dog tie is a genius addition!

  11. I LOVE this so so much!!! I am such a book worm and we are avid readers in my house. I really need to do this in my sweet neighborhood. Thank you for the inspiration!!

  12. This is so adorable Amanda, Honey did a great job and I love the light as a special touch. I am thinking I can do this to in our neighborhood!! Have a great weekend :-)

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