I’ve always been a bookworm. One day in elementary school, I tripped on my morning walk to school. I skinned up my knee, and there was even a little blood. When the school nurse asked what happened, I said, “I tripped while reading my book.” She didn’t think it was such a good idea to walk and read. However, that didn’t stop me from doing it the very next day.
Growing up, I spent many Friday nights curled up with a good book. Books took me to far away places, taught me about interesting things, and gave me the power to think for myself and have my own opinions. Books have had a profound impact on my life.
When I learned about Little Free Library, I knew I had to have one of my own. The idea of having a way to share books with others captivated me. Little Free Library is a “take a book, leave a book” book exchange. However, the rules vary from library to library. I’ve received so many book donations that I insist people take a book, but they don’t always have to leave another one in its place. After all, the mission is simply to get more books into the hands of readers.
My library came together with lots of help from my father and my husband. We cut down a bookshelf and put a plexiglass door on the front. Now, it stands proudly in my front yard, always bursting with adult, teen and children’s books.
Why would you want to visit a Little Free Library like mine? It’s open 24 hours a day, there’s no late fees, and, well, FREE BOOKS! That means you can return it when you’re done, trade it for another one, keep it for yourself, or pass it on to someone else.
My hope for my library, also known as North Avenue Little Free Library, is simple – to spread the love of reading, even to just one person. I hope that reading changes someone’s life, and that it makes them question the world around them instead of just going with the flow. I hope that picking up a book inspires someone to create something new. I hope that someone enjoys a book so much, that they can’t help but share it with someone else.
Want to learn more about Little Free Library? Visit www.littlefreelibrary.org to learn about their wonderful mission. And if you’re in the Sycamore area, please visit the library at 225 North Avenue. Take a book, leave a book, write a note in the guestbook. We’d be delighted to have you.
Jessi Haish LaRue
Map to find Little Free Libraries in your area: https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/