Have you noticed the Little Free Libraries popping up here and there? Here's the idea. Take a book. Leave a book. Nurture the love of reading. Promote a sense of community.
I took the top two photos in our town on Depot Street near the new pocket park and the bottom photo in Michigan this past summer. All three stand proudly by the roadside, offering books to passers-by. These tiny libraries come in all shapes and sizes. As unique treasure houses, they represent the spirit of freedom, the love of learning . . . and the beauty of story.
If you study a person's reading list or peruse his or her bookshelves, you understand him better. As I've poured over my late husband's volumes of books, I've gotten to know him in a new way. Sounds strange, I know, but as I've read his comments in the margins, his sticky notes pasted on random paragraphs, and his hand-written notes paper-clipped to various pages, I'm getting a feel for his thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics as he interacted with what he read.
Authors introduce us to new ideas. They broaden our thinking and help us see beyond ourselves. They challenge us to reach higher, to see farther.
Good stories do the same things in a little different way. How many times have we identified with various protagonists? We feel their vulnerability and watch them face their fears. By the last page, we take their strengths with us to conquer our own fears. We better understand our relationships. We find ourselves blessed with hope, often against all odds. Reading helps us gather the courage we need to follow through on our resolve.
C.S. Lewis wrote, "We read to know we are not alone."
So why do you read? And what have you been reading lately? Perhaps a nearby Little Free Library will offer just the right book!