I watched from my office window this morning as a man stopped in front of my house. He unlatched the door of the tiny turquoise structure that’s perched on a post outside the picket fence and ducked his head out of sight. When he resumed his walk, his Labrador straining the leash, golden river birch leaves falling at his feet, the man held a book in his hand.
From the moment I caught my first glimpse of a Little Free Library (LFL) – the one at the curb on Sheridan Boulevard, a miniature replica of the classic bungalow behind it — I was smitten. As the years passed and additional LFLs sprung up in neighborhoods around Lincoln, I grew more and more enchanted.
Back in 2009 Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher who loved reading. He put it on a post in his front yard and filled it with books. His neighbors and friends loved it, so he made several more and gave them away. Six years later, it’s estimated there are approximately 25,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide.
Last month, I decided I wanted LFL #25,001 in my front yard.
“It says right here you can make one in a weekend,” I said to Brad, as I scrolled through sample blueprints online. “Come on, it’ll be fun,” I cajoled.
Needless to say, I must have missed the website’s fine print. Clearly they had carpenter, not English professor, in mind when they suggested the LFL as a weekend project.