BBB Positivity Challenge

You, dear reader, are hereby invited to join me in a little challenge this week.

Ready?

Try giving a genuine compliment to everyone you encounter over the next five days.

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That’s it. It’s incredibly simple and yet by the end of the week, you’ll feel reinvigorated. By noticing and voicing something positive about the people around you, you’d be amazed how positive you’ll end up feeling yourself. It’s kind of like how smiling improves your mood, even if it’s forced at first. The more compliments you dole out, the more freely they will start to flow. Positivity begets positivity, at least in my experience.

Plus, who doesn’t love making someone else’s day? You never know what people have going on in their lives, and your simple gesture may be a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy sky.

Furthermore, it’s just plain fun to see someone’s face blossom into a smile after they receive a compliment, especially if it’s unexpected. As the complimenter, you can’t help but smile back. As cheesy as it sounds, smiling is contagious.

This week, let’s all try to focus on the good in ourselves and in others.

Go forth and compliment!

(And report back! I want to know if this makes you as happy as it makes me.)

Little Free Library: A Chicago (& Worldwide) Spotlight

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).

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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.

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Campbell and Sunnyside.

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Rockwell and Leland.
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I cannot remember the location of this one. Oops!

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Glenwood and Berwyn (woo, Andersonville and Sweden!).

Finally, after months of casually (and a little creepily) taking pictures, I decided it was high time 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.

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Donation target at Rockwell and Eastwood.

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Our contribution.

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Adiós, friends.

Plan Your Visit

Check out this map to find a Free Little Library near you. If you can’t, start one!