Little Free Libraries of Columbus

There was only one way that I wanted to kick off 2014: by visiting a handful of Little Free Libraries. I am, after all, a lover of books. Real ones. Rather than owning a Kindle, what sparks my fire (see what I did there?) is reading an actual book, with pages and bindings and sweet pulpy smells. If I’m on an airplane, I don’t have to turn off my book. My book doesn’t run out of battery.

What started in 2009 in the front yard of a Wisconsin man’s home has turned into a massive worldwide movement. The mission of Little Free Library, Ltd. is “to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.” The organization’s initial goal was to build 2,510 free libraries, a number inspired by the great Andrew Carnegie’s library-related contributions. There are currently 10,000-12,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the world, a dozen of which are in Columbus. I visited six of them:

1. 216 Oakland Park Avenue (Clintonville)
Book I left: Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende
Book I took: Thurber Country: A Collection of Pieces About Males and Females, Mainly of Our Own Species by James Thurber

2. 14 West Lakeview Avenue (Clintonville)
Book I left: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Book I took: The Best American Short Stories of 1969, Edited by Foley and Burnett 

3. 2837 Lakewood Drive (north)
Book I left: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Book I took: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

4. 3721 Florian Drive (near Easton)
Book I left: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Book I took: Star Wars Mad Libs by Roger Price and Leonard Stern

5. 490 South Champion Avenue (Olde Towne East)
Book I left: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Book I took: None. This library NEEDS BOOKS. If you have some that you’re willing to donate, please consider dropping them off here.

6. 359 East Sycamore Street (German Village area)
Book I left: The Law of Love by Laura Esquivel 
Book I took: Surfacing by Margaret Atwood

Next time you're looking for a fun outing or need a little pick-me-up, I highly recommend visiting these mini slices of literary heaven. Click here to learn about installing your own Little Free Library.