I found a box of books in the garage while preparing for a yard sale and added to them by purging my bookcase. Usually I donate but thought I'd make a couple bucks and have the pleasure of seeing with whom the books would make a new home. Surprisingly, nobody was book buying and so I loaded them back into my car planning to drop them off another day at the local Friends of the Library bookstore.
While doing my Sunday errands, I started to think about the books and felt a little disappointed that I'd missed the opportunity to have a connection to where the books went next. I wanted something more for them than the usual used book sale. Hmm, I thought, what if I made a pop up Little Free Library? My mind started to percolate ... did I have a cute container or hutch-like box to put them in? Would my neighbors mind people stopping in front of the house? Is this a dumb idea? I decided I could figure it out and would just do it as soon as I got home.
Hot and tired I finally finished with my stops and as ideas can do with a time lapse, I started to talk myself out of the impromptu Little Free Library. But the idea kept nudging me until I ventured into the garage, realized the table that didn't sell at the yard sale would by perfect to put the books on and found a stick in the recycling bin to put a sign on. My neighbor was outside watering so I told her my idea, asked if she would mind the potential traffic and gave her first look through the boxes. She cautioned me about putting the table out, suggesting that it might get stolen. Kindly she helped me put 4 boxes of books at the end of my walkway. Lacking esthetic, it didn't look right and had none of the spirit that a LFL invokes. Deciding I would risk it (I'd wanted to sell it anyway) I brought the table out, put the books atop and stuck the crude FREE BOOKS sign made on neon pink paper, in a box. Feeling pleased, I went into the house to let the magic happen.
Passing by the front window a couple of hours later I noticed a car had stopped and a man was perusing the books. Yay, I thought with a buzz of happiness and I watched him for a few seconds until he picked up an entire box of books and loaded it into his car. Wait a minute, he's only supposed to take a few not the whole box, was my reaction and my first impulse was to throw open the door and tell him so! Thankfully good sense prevailed and I realized how stupid that would have sounded when the sign said the opposite. I remembered that Little Free Libraries bear the written prompt to "take a book, leave a book" that suggests reciprocity and that mine did not. I was also reminded that when one gives something away they no longer have a say in what happens to it next. I could only hope the books would get shared where and with whom they belonged. Because really, what ill can be done with books? They are by their very nature vessels of imagination, knowledge, relaxation, and happiness.
Then almost immediately a young man walked up, stopped to look through the books, selected one and was on his way. And there it was, the feeling I'd been looking for. The fireworks that books read and shared, even silently, brings.
I'm reminded that if we wait for every thing to be "right" perfectly lovely experiences may pass us by.