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Take a book, leave a book with Little Free Library

I was out for a walk when I saw it: The Little Free Library.

There was a little house — much like a birdhouse — filled with books and a sign that said, “Take a Book, Leave a Book.”

I fell in love with the concept and had to learn more. It turns out that these little libraries are popping up in yards all over the world: There are more than 36,000 of them located in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries.

The concept is simple.

Fill the library with books, and neighbors read and replenish it. Though the concept is simple, the results are amazing. In a time when we are so busy that we seldom get to know our neighbors, a Little Free Library opens the door to get to know neighbors and provides a way to share dearly loved books with friends.

Debbie Barron has had a Little Free Library in her Simpsonville yard for the past two years.

“I am really impressed with the amount of attention it attracts,” Barron said. “We put an adult glider and a child-sized bench next to ours. It is fun to watch people stop and read. We have met neighbors that we would not have met otherwise.”

Barron keeps her Little Free Library stocked with books for all ages. She said the children in her neighborhood love having a place to come and get books without having to worry about late fees. She even found homemade bookmarks that a child placed in her box.

Barron, a former high school teacher and current academic specialist for Greenville County Schools, is passionate about reading and loves being able to share that passion with others.

“It is really rewarding for the teacher in me,” she said. “There is nothing more important than reading to a child and later reading with him.”

Barron’s son built her Little Free Library house as a birthday gift.

“It was made of recycled material and it looks like our cabin in North Carolina,” she said. “Part of the charm of the libraries is the way people individualize them.”

If you want a Little Free Library for your yard, has libraries for purchase as well as instructions for building your own.

You can also find maps with the location of Little Free Libraries in your area.