November 6, 2015

The Lending Library

Noah and the box.


At some point in May, I got the notion to build a little free library box in front of our house. You may have come across one of these beauties. They exist mainly in blue states, or blue pockets of red states. They are handmade libraries set out in neighborhoods for folks to come and take of or give to freely. They represent, in my mind, the best of society–celebrating the free exchange of goods and ideas, encouraging reading, the tangible over the digital, fostering community and good neighbors, etc.

So it was that Jackson and I researched out plans and started dreaming up a box. Now, some of you who have read my earlier posts may recall that I am not exactly “handy with tools.” In fact, despite being only one remove from Bob Villa, I share very little with the man save that I also walk upright and have ten fingers divided evenly among my two hands. Jackson of course is no fool. He knows my skill set. Because of this, his eyes rolled when I said, “if we make clear plans and can cut our measurements, we could have this baby assembled and painted by this afternoon.” That was maybe May 8th.

Let’s skip ahead to, oh, October 20th. Let’s not dwell upon how much sawdust is now on my garage floor, upon how many trips I took to the various hardware stores in town (rotating through so I could ask the same idiotic question multiple times), upon the expletives that I shouted, upon how many tubes of wood filler we went through, about how good it turns out I am at stripping a screw…and let’s just focus on the results.

I’m proud to say, the results are strong ladies and gentlemen. For now there stands in our little village of Santa Fe, tucked beneath the arms of a big spruce tree, backing up against our coyote fence, a proud a wonderful Little Free Library. It is painted blue with hand cut shingles on the roof, wallpapered on the inside and even carpeted with a little remnant. So far it has stayed dry in several downpours, has survived the first snow of the season, and wasn’t vandalized on Mischief Night or Halloween. It currently contains a handful of children’s books and some hard philosophy. It has a set of literary journals and cooking magazines. And it even has a copy of my new book in there.

So if you’r in the neighborhood, come on by. Grab a book or give a book. And if you’re not in the neighborhood but want to contribute to the “stacks,” feel free to send your already-read novels and histories to my attention, PO Box 8642, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Send them media mail. It’s cheap.

With much book love,