Rikki: The Patron Saint of Little Free Libraries

We've talked about our love of Little Free Libraries on Instagram quite a bit. We quickly noticed a few things: some people misunderstand the concept of them, or there aren't many (if any) in some areas. Before you do anything else, pull up the map provided on their website and see if there are any registered near you. Although, it's worth mentioning that not all Little Free Libraries are "official," so always keep your eyes peeled! There are a ton of great resources and information about them, including how to start your own, on their site and Instagram as well.

In case you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, I want to clarify that this is not like a regular library. Little Free Libraries are small water proof structures that people put together near their homes just for the love of books. Often times they will be a small replica of their home, or something altogether incredibly creative and unique! The idea here is that you bring along a book you've finished reading, leave it in the library, and take another one that someone else has left. And the idea goes on and on.

One of the reasons we love them so much, is because it adds to the fun of treasure hunting for books. And who doesn't love treasure hunting for books?! It's also an easy and fun way to curate your shelves and get rid of books you won't read any longer.

A few weeks ago, we went on our evening walk after dinner. My daughter riding her little bike with a small basket on the front, always asks if we can stop at the Little Free Library in our neighborhood. I can never say no. Books in her basket on her little pink bike. Too cute. We ended up finding this incredible box set of Newberry Awards Library books, complete with A Wrinkle in Time and four other novels. As it turned out, we already had two of the books at home. So off they went in exchange!

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We had one warm, sunny day at the end of the work week, where Michaela and I decided to get out on the town and have some fun together. Beach hangs, good brunch, book store stops, and Little Free Library hunting it was! We found favorite books, books for our kiddos, and made sure to fill up the Little Libraries with books we've been saving to give away. Near the end of our city tour, an older woman came out to talk to us as we were gushing over the prettiest Library we've ever come across. She went on to tell us how the woman who lived in the house behind it won it, and it's now maintained by her husband. Keeping them stocked helps to keep people coming through and books rotating regularly. Of course, she recommended another one for us to visit before we left.

Sometimes, I stumble across one that has little to no books and needs some serious love. Like you'll often see in our Insta-stories, I carry a stack of books in my car for just that purpose, and I fill them up. Or if I find one that's overflowing, I'll grab a few extra out of there and rotate them throughout others nearby. Another new one we found locally had a plaque with 'Tristan' on it, as well as a homemade public playground in front of the house. Behind the books we noticed family photos. As we looked online at the map, the information told us about the owner of the Library, as well as the story of the 7-year-old Tristan who asked for the Library for his birthday. His whole class came to it's "opening" day and donated a book. You don't always find stories like that, but when you do, it's so worth it to keep them going.

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Friends, there is nothing sweeter than finding a book you've been looking for when you happen to stop at a Little Free Library. Even better is seeing your child find a book and their eyes light up with excitement, then hearing them read it in the back seat. And we always feel amazing when we leave books behind for others to enjoy. This bookish community, it's really great and this is just another simple way to stay connected.

Do you have a Little Free Library near you? Tell us about it!