I first saw a Little Free Library downstate when I was taking my dog for eye specialist appointments. Bay City, Michigan, where I live isn’t small by some standards at just short of 35,000 residents, but it’s safe to say that most trends show up downstate first and then trickle upward.
I LOVED this idea, so much so that on one of my last trips to the area, I made certain to contribute some books. I also wanted to host a library, but not all my home’s residents were keen on inviting traffic to the yard.
Bummer, I thought. Bay City could use this.
Needless to say I was quite excited to spot one the other day as I was driving down Center Avenue. I knew immediately what it was:
It’s at 2600 Center Avenue, just two houses off the rail-trail, so an excellent location. But its contents seemed a little sparse:
Easy to solve. I gathered five contributions without even dipping into storage:
The storage and gardening books I got from a friend who was cleaning out a parent’s house; the first I won’t use after all and the second covers information I have in other books. The “last suppers” was interesting but I won’t reread it. The Barnes & Noble edition of Frida Kahlo I also am done with, but I’m hanging on to the Dali book.
I’m most thrilled to get my talented friend Karen Totten’s work into someone else’s hands. I wanted to give some poetry away and wasn’t sure what I could part with, then found I somehow had two copies of this chapbook.
My husband had seen me leaving with books, so when I returned he was surprised to see one in my hand – Marie Kondo’s tidying cult manual. “It’s a library,” I reminded him. “I’ll read it and return it.”
I’ll probably send it back with some paper friends.
UPDATE, April 10: We get one in our neighborhood! I contacted the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, which tends Discovery Preserve a few blocks from my house, to see if they would want to host a library. Turns out they’re installing one on Earth Day that was donated by the Bay County Library System and Bay City Noon Rotary Club, and plan to stock it initially with field guides and nature-oriented books for people of all ages. So now I can adopt that one.