Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg Company, J.M. Smucker Company, and The HERSHEY'S Company. All opinions are 100% my own. #StartSchoolLikeAChampion #CollectiveBias
My grandmother made sure I always had plentiful books available and a willing adult to read them. But I recently started wondering what would have happened if she hadn't. Would I still have found my way to a love of reading when I was older? Unlikely. Reading is such a primary aspect of my personality; it's a little scary to think not having them around as a child would have never opened up the world of reading to me.
When I first heard about Little Free Libraries, I loved the very idea - a place to offer books so people could come and take one whenever they wanted, and leave ones they don't read anymore. Free books? Count me in! I knew immediately I wanted ours to focus on children's books.
My first step was finding something to keep our books in. Little Free Library and even some Etsy sellers offer wonderful options, but I was looking for cheap or free. I wasn't sure if it would be a success or, worse case, someone would even vandalize it, so frugal was the way to go.
I put a notice on FreeCycle.org asking if anyone had a mailbox. I heard immediately from a man offering his and it was perfect - roomy enough to add books inside, smooth on the outside so I could decorate it, and almost weatherproof. A good cleaning and it was ready for use.
We attached it to our fence, added in some books and we were in business. (The kind of business where smiling children walk away with a new-to-them book!)
What surprised me most of all - Kay is excited to read the books that other children leave. It's gotten her excited about books all over again, too. If I'd known that, I think I would have tried this a long time ago!
As for keeping our library stocked, that hasn't been a problem so far. People have been very generous with books their children have outgrown and we personally have too many books anyway, so it's easy to grab a couple of oldies but goodies from our own bookshelves to add to our little library.
Plus, we're about to get a a bunch of NEW books to add as well!
Now, to be honest, I don't usually follow through on these purchase-incentive-type programs. For one, I lose the receipt, usually before I make it back to the car, or I don't remember to go to the designated website. But this one is easy - promise!
You will need that receipt (make sure to hang on to it!) but just long enough to scan or even take a photo of it. (Then you're free to lose it, hehe!)