LFL extraordinaire

January 9, 2019

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

We’ve written before about the Little Free Library program. Here’s an LFL that’s really turning heads.

When Sharalee Armitage Howard “had to remove a huge tree that was over 110 years old” in front of her Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, home, she “decided to turn it into a little free library (which I’ve always wanted).” Beautifully crafted and complete with exterior and interior lighting and dentil molding in the shape of little books, her Little Free Library is open for browsing.

On her Facebook page, Howard explains that “this tree won’t look amazing until Spring when I can plant groundcover and cheerful perennials around it, touch up the paint, and fine-tune the trimwork,” but we think it looks pretty swell right now. Learn more and watch the video.

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Little Free Libraries

Perhaps you’ve noticed the little house-on-a-post as you’re driving through the neighborhood. Perhaps you’re a regular user. In an ongoing surge of community- and literary-mindedness, the Little Free Library program, started in 2009, continues to proliferate.

In Bellingham, Washington (and probably in other cities), you can find a Google map of official and unofficial LFLs or view the photo collection assembled on Facebook by the James Street Library. For more LFL information, visit the official Little Free Library site or the LFL Facebook page.

If you have books you don’t plan to read again, or “extra” copies of your poetry chapbook, why not drop them off? You never know where your next fan will come from.
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Little Free Library mapWe’ve mentioned the Little Free Library project before. Perhaps you’ve noticed the proliferation of the colorful boxes of books in your neighborhood. The Seattle Times book editor and columnist Mary Ann Gwinn has been keeping tabs on book borrowers who stop by her local LFL and she characterizes them in her Lit Life article, “The 6 types of Little Free Library patrons.” And Gwinn is not the only one who’s paying attention. Paula Carey, in Victoria, B.C., captured her Library visitors on video!

If you think Little Free Libraries are a great idea, why not support the LFL Kickstarter campaign that will expand the reach of Little Free Libraries to underserved regions (“book deserts”) and work through schools and police departments to support literacy? It’s a great cause and the campaign ENDS in just three days — Thursday, May 21, 2015, at 9:00pm PDT. There’s a lot more information on the Little Free Library project on the LFL website and on Facebook.

And in case you’re wondering what to do with all those ‘extra’ copies of your chapbook…they’ll be very welcome at a Little Free Library near you, where they just might be discovered by an entirely new audience of lit lovers!

uh oh

February 5, 2015

Little Free Library

We’ve mentioned the wonderful Little Free Library project that has inspired the installation of book-borrowing boxes in neighborhoods throughout the country. There are probably some in your own neighborhood.

Well, the Los Angeles Times reports that all is not well in the world of free books. In West Los Angeles and in Shreveport, Louisiana, local officials have cited code violations against local “librarians” and required them to remove their book boxes from their current locations.
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Underwood keyboardThe affinity between typewriters and poetry is well established. While, for a while, the manual keyboards seemed on their way to dinosaurhood, the combined appeal of portability and hard copy has inspired a wave of nouveau typists. We’ve covered this topic before (for example, Bellingham’s Poem Store and Poems for sale) and here are a few more chapters in the story.

Jacqueline Suskin has taken her typewriter big time with The Poem Store. In addition to weekly appearances at the Hollywood (CA) and Yamashiro farmers markets, she can be booked to create spontaneous typed poetry for private parties, weddings, fundraisers, festivals and other special events.

Rio Jones prefers a more anonymous approach. The pen-named poet posts his typed poems on Instagram, where he has a vigorous following. (Here’s an article about him in the Huffington Post.)

We’ve written previously about Maya Stein. This summer she is joined by Amy Tingle and a pair of typewriters for TYPE RIDER II: The Tandem Poetry Tour, “a month-long, 1,400-mile trip we will take by tandem bicycle from Boulder, Colorado, to Beloit, Wisconsin. We’ve partnered with Little Free Library, a Wisconsin nonprofit promoting literacy and a love of reading, to help build and install at least 20 free community book exchanges along our route.” Learn more about their adventures on their website, Food 4 the Soul Train.

Finally, more for fun than for poetry, there’s the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.

What’s your typewriter doing this summer?

P.S.: Dean Kahn, of The Bellingham Herald, comments: “Would love to hear from local writers who still use a typewriter instead of newer alternatives.” If you qualify, contact Dean.Kahn[at]bellinghamherald.com.
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Underwood QWERTY keyboard

street reading…

January 27, 2013

Book-treePerhaps you’ve noticed that little “libraries” are cropping up all over the place. Old phone booths, newspaper boxes, mailboxes and other serviceable containers have been cleaned up, painted up, set up and stocked with books that passersby are welcome to borrow and replace.

Well, here’s another one, in Berlin. Created by Baufachfrau Berlin and known as Forest Books, this sidewalk library is constructed of bolted-together tree trunks, each inset with several protected book-holding niches. Read the story and see more photos on Inhabitat. Read more about the international book-distribution movement spurred on by the folks at Little Free Library.
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photo by Lori Zimmer

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