One of the coolest features of my new city is that almost every public park is home to a Little Free Library. As the parent and teacher of two elementary-aged kiddos, I spend a lot of time at parks. I do consider it my civic responsibility to organize and maintain each of these Little Free Libraries, you know, after I browse them. When my kids and I arrived at the park today, I came prepared with a box-full of books to donate. What I wasn’t prepared for was finding the library already filled with what can only loosely be described as a variety of Amish romance novels. That’s right, a Little Free Library brimming with bonnet rippers. I think I laughed out loud when I saw it. Hopefully anyone who comes looking for Beverly Lewis’ The Atonement won’t mistake it for the Atonement that I brought to the party.
Anyhoo, there is something really satisfying about giving away good books. I keep the ones I love, but duplicates or ones I didn’t love usually find a new home. Through this process of the book-buying fast, I’m learning that my desire to buy books is fueled more deeply by a long-term goal of collecting and building my own library. When I donate books, I’m still working toward that goal, like weeding the garden. Further toward this cause of cultivating a thriving library-garden, I finally added books to the shelves in my living room. I still have a shelf-less room where cardboard boxes filled with my books live, but I’m making progress in nurturing my library. Even (and maybe especially) when I am not buying books to add to it, this progress feels really good.