No, this isn’t a post about the chickens. Their eggs are great.
This is about our Little Free Library, and why it is closed, as of today.
In all, our community has been amazing about our Little Free Library. People love it. People were always so generous with their books and they respected the “take a book, leave a book” philosophy. Our problems have been few and far between. Until a few weeks ago.
A woman rolls up, empties all of the new books out of the Library, and leaves. Sometimes she leaves with her arms full of books. But she clears out all but a handful of romance novels that have been there for a few months. She never leaves a book, she only takes. And she takes almost everything, every single time.
I gave her the benefit of the doubt – maybe she didn’t understand the rules. I left a note clarifying that if you aren’t donating any books, please restrict yourself to one or two books. Well, she showed me: she took all the books AND the note this time.
I’ve had it. The Little Free Library isn’t here to benefit just one person.
It is there to benefit the wonderful people that we’ve seen sharing their books. The joggers who do a double take, stop and peruse, and then continue their run with a book or two in hand.
It is there for the older couple we met last fall. They thanked us for the “drive-up” library. The wife is an avid reader, but also disabled and cannot get to the public library or bookstores easily. Books from the “drive-up” library brought her hours of enjoyment. And they donated three BOXES of books, too.
The Little Free Library is there for the kids who find a new story and choose a book over a TV show one night because they found something interesting and new in the Library.
The Little Free Library is for all the geocachers, too. We love you guys, and we love that you’ve enjoyed the adventure that brought you here.
But it isn’t for just one woman. Because she leaves just the romance novels, I suspect she is scooping up the books and taking them to Half Price Books, where they buy books by the bagful for pennies on the dollar, and they generally reject romances. But whatever her motive, it is inexcusable. And I am pretty powerless to stop it.
It was a good run. I hope we’ll reopen again. But right now? One bad egg has spoiled a wonderful thing.
Please spread the word.