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a little free library...

Saturday, February 25, 2017
...has suddenly made an appearance. I first noticed a tiny free standing box with used books on the streets of Decatur several years ago. Walked by the structure, and backed up to take a look. My next thought: "Oh, my! How cool is this! I need one of these at my house - to fill with interesting things for people to come and choose."

Delighted by the idea of encouraging passers-by to randomly to open the door, look at the offerings and choose a book. I already envision all those readers stumbling along, tripping over their feets, as they insert their noses in books, bumping into trees, signs, buildings, immersed and intrigued with their printed matter. I was instantly charmed by the idea of luring complete strangers into holding a book, turning paper pages, and choosing literature over mind-numbing electronics.

F., who lives in Decatur, was having dinner recently with friends, one of whom is a talented wood-worker, makes a good living in construction, doing remodels, building custom furniture. She was talking about the little wooden boxes that have popped up all over town, with reading material. He mentioned having lots of odds and ends, scraps of wood he thought he could assemble, to make her a box for books to install in her yard, near the street. For passersby to 'take one, leave one'.

He made TWO! One is mine. I am so excited. It is made from old barn wood, with a translucent front, probably plastic rather than glass to be more durable. When she called to say the friend was building library boxes, I immediately began to think of where I might dig a hole. Put a post that would be the mount for my library. And ponder on how to paint it. The wood, old heart pine, with a beautiful grain is so pretty I am hesitant to cover up the natural wood, but - you know me: tempted to get out the red, white and blue, pour on the patriotism.

I actually have the paint on hand. I bought some little cans months ago, with the intention of painting more wooden pallets to look like flags. Expecting I could give several away to people who will agree to put them out in their yard. Celebrate all things American, as a permanent sort of installation, to be prepared in  case a parade came along, with brass bands in full-Sousa-march attire. So I will get it home and stir up the cans of celebration, get in holiday frame of mind with my patriotic colors.

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