Little Free Libraries excites me because they encourage reading and neighborhood interaction. If you follow this blog, then you know by now that those are two things for which I’ve already demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm (here and here, for example).
A Little Free Library is very simply a free book exchange. Though they are connected through a nonprofit organization, it appears anyone can start one. For that reason, there are now more than 40,000 registered Free Little Libraries across all 50 states and in more than 70 countries worldwide. So if you’re thinking these little boxes look familiar, it’s probably because you have one near you.
The first little box I encountered (near First Slice on Ashland, one of my favorite local bakeries) piqued my interest, especially because it was so carefully decorated. Upon further inspection, I realized it’s actually affiliated with Edgewater Reads, but tomato, tomato (which really loses its pizzazz when written).
Love at first sight at Ashland and Balmoral.
It soon became my goal to find as many of these libraries as I could. Not necessarily to collect or donate books, but rather to take in a little bit of the blocks and neighborhoods they represented.
Here are a few of my favorites from the Andersonville, Ravenswood Gardens, and Lincoln Square areas.
Campbell and Sunnyside.
Rockwell and Leland.
I cannot remember the location of this one. Oops!
Glenwood and Berwyn (woo, Andersonville and Sweden!).
Finally, after months of casually (and a little creepily) taking pictures, I decided it was high time I donate. So one day, Papa Bear, Baby Bear, and I all went for a little stroll over to the Little Free Library on Eastwood near Rockwell. I love Ravenswood Gardens, so I was happy to leave a little piece of me behind.
Donation target at Rockwell and Eastwood.