Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Neighborhood Library

Our family loves books. They can't help it. Our son, Patrick, has enough books to fill a small bookstore, all in his bedroom.. and the studio.. and the back kitchen. I think there's one in the bathroom, too.

Book collecting comes to our family naturally. Chris worked at the University Library for nearly 30 years and his mother, Natalie, was the librarian and reading teacher at Notre Dame Catholic School in Denver for almost that long. Patrick is now working for a company that sells used books online.

When Chris was growing up, their family read out loud every evening. It was a beautiful tradition which we continued with our own children. In fact, we used to read out loud to each other even before our children were born. P.G. Wodehouse and Pogo were my favorites.

There's only one problem when books are such a big part of one's life. They start to take over the house. We have fantasies and mysteries, gardening books and build-it-yourself manuals. We have whole sets of Dickens, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, Patrick O'Brian, Dorothy Gilman, Ellis Peters, and Agatha Christie. There are spiritual books and collections of Doonesbury cartoons. I doubt there is anywhere in our house where you couldn't find at least one book within arm's reach. I believe used bookstores have a magnetic pull on my family.

It's time to share. We've loved the idea of the Little Free Libraries and decided to create our own. The website ( says this: "In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share." If you go to their website, you'll see photos of some amazing Free Libraries, some looking like large birdhouses on fence posts or trees.

Ours has been created from an old metal cabinet which once held motor oil or transmission fluid, or something like that, in a gas station. We cleaned it up, painted it, and it is now filled with books, just waiting for some of you to come by.

A few titles to tempt you:  Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, The Jim Chee Mysteries by Tony Hillerman, several Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters, a number of old Oz books by Frank Baum, and lots, lots more.

Come by and visit!