Last year, I bought an e-reader. I thought it would be great to have all the books I wanted to read right at my fingertips. No fuss, no clutter and no more trying to figure out what to do with the stacks of books I can’t part with. I was excited about my new relationship. Oh yes! Another electronic device was exactly what I needed. And so my short-lived love affair began.
I recently finished a great book and was telling a friend how much she would enjoy it. “Can I borrow it?,” she asked. “Well… sorry, it’s on my e-reader so I can’t lend it to you.” Frustrating. And there were other things I had begun to miss about books: that new book smell, the crisp look of real ink on paper, the quiet sound of a page turning… Sadly, my affair was beginning to sour. Maybe we weren’t right for each other after all. And I may not be the only one who feels this way.
After much hard work, my very own neighbours Sheila and Tracy recently announced the completion of our first neighbourhood free library, “The Cemetery of Lost Books.” A crowd gathered around for a Champagne toast at the unveiling. Beautifully finished and decorated, this little library suggests we “take a book, leave a book.” It turns out that Sheila and Tracy’s project is part of a global movement called the “Little Free Library.” Small libraries are popping up all over the world encouraging people to share and enjoy books. And these libraries aren’t only about reading, they are about connecting people and neighbourhoods, a refreshing alternative to our digital lives.
I thought about my e-reader, its selfish tendencies and inability to share. I knew it was time for us to part ways. I was moving on to a more nurturing relationship with my local library, “The Cemetery of Lost Books.” Here, books are no longer lost; they are reborn and shared among friends.
Check out Sheila and Tracy’s beautiful little free library below.