I’m a book nerd. I love to share. I want my mind to be lost between the pages on a daily basis. I want the world to join me.
There’s this little coffee shop that I frequent most mornings in Pittsburgh. It has a strong brew, quirky crowd and minimal modern décor. I get excited about it, mostly because of the “free library” that they set up inside. If you haven’t heard of one, let me fill you in.
The idea is simple: Take one, leave one. A book lover (like me) puts a box, crate, (or hanging library!) up in their front yard, at a coffee shop, on the porch, etc. and fills it with books. People are free to take a book home to enjoy, and keep the cause keepin’ on by bringing a book back in exchange.
I absolutely love this idea. It makes me the happiest little literary chick ever. It makes me so happy that I’ve lost track of whether I go to the coffee shop for caffeine or for a good read. You’d suppose I’d just go to the library, right? Nope. This is way cooler. It builds community, and makes reading exciting and personal. You never know what new book you are going to find, which helps open the mind to try new things.
This weekend, I built a hanging free library for my front yard. I bet you are shocked. It was so simple, and looks beautiful hanging from my front tree, for all of my neighbors and strangers to enjoy.
What You Need:
Twine, Yarn, Embroidery Floss
A lil’ bit of patience
First, choose your five thickest branches for the base. Take copper wire, and begin wrapping the five branches together. This process is a bit tedious, but necessary. The copper wire is extremely strong, and will keep the base stable when heavy books are placed on top.Take four branches and “tee-pee” tie them tightly. Attach their bottoms to the four corners of your base with wire. Wrap it tightly!Once you have your structure built, begin decorating. This is the fun part. You can really use just about anything you want to make it your own. Above are some suggestions. I used feathers, doilies, and colorful string to make mine feel welcoming and bright.Lastly, I braided together a rope that would hang the library to the tree, and also created a free library banner that would hang down one side, allowing friendly passersby to recognize its purpose.Add some books to see how it works. I’d suggest doing this inside before taking it to the tree, so you can make adjustments. Once everything looks in place, it’s time to share your library with the world. Go hang it up!To add one more cool factor to my little library of love, I’ve started scribbling notes in each book and marking my favorite quotes to make the book feel personal. Mother Nature gave me the perfect tree for my book exchange, which is now open for free business.
*Final tip: take down if the forecast is calling for rain – soggy books aren’t happy books.
+What are some good reads for me to set up in my library? I’m always searching for something new. Let me know in the comments!