Little Libraries

One benefit of sheltering in pace and the global pandemic is that it has forced me to walk around my neighborhood (for sanity’s sake).

When you get out in the neighborhood you start to notice details you haven’t seen before. You noticed the little details of houses that before seemed all the same. Details are the route newly noticed.

One thing that I have noticed on my walks of San Francisco’s Outer Sunset District is the proliferation of little boxes on wooden poles. These are the little libraries.

The box on top of the pole contains one or two selves lined with books. These boxes are used to take a book or leave a book and they are all free. It seems odd in a city there is actually something free! Well not exactly free. I donated three books:

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson (Good but not as good as Notes From a Small Island.)

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea

The nonprofit company behind these boxes is Little Free Library, a Wisconsin based company that inspired 100,000 boxes (and counting) in 100 countries (and counting).

People can either build their own library of have one pre-made. Once it is installed, usually in the front yard, facing the sidewalk, the library is registered and added to a map so reading in the community know where to find a Little Free Library.

Here’s a two story version on Judah street in front of the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church and the Far Out West Dune Community Garden.

This Little Free Library is a few blocks from Ocean Beach and is topped with succulents and bejeweled with sand dollars. Each of the boxes are as uniques as their owners.

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