I was walking down the street this morning after dropping my kids at school. Not a regular occurrence anymore. I had said goodbye to my son who was leaving on his first camp (a happy, sad moment) and was on my way to the city to see the ‘Italian Masters’ exhibition. All was right with the world. Little did I know it was about to get SO much better.
In one of the front yards was a little house, on a stick, filled with books. There was a sign on its front inviting us to ‘take a book, leave a book’. I didn’t have time to take a look as I had a train to catch. However, the image stayed with me all day.
I love books. I love reading and, like all book lovers, have some books that I love as much as I love some family members (I’m not stating who). As a recovering gypsy, I am still adjusting to the idea of permanency and all the many possibilities that are now open to me. Including a Little Free Library coming to live in my front yard.
One of our moves involved a massive culling of my book collection so that we could fit all our stuff into our new abode. The crazy thing was that we were moving from an apartment to a house!! In any case, I left 200 or so books in the library of the apartment building. It may have been the last time that they agreed to allow someone to leave a ‘few’ books behind. It was a traumatic moment as many of those books were beloved and had helped me through many lonely moments. I’ve never seen those books since and can only hope they went to good homes.
It is a little known fact that I actually studied to be a librarian. Even one of my closest friends found out by accident – I happened to mention that my husband had wanted to be an actuary. Her husband quipped, “he should have married a librarian.” To which I replied, “um … that’s what I studied at Uni.” He nearly choked on his breakfast. It’s not a secret, it just never comes up in conversation. It’s amazing how few people in the expat world ask what the significant other used to do.
So here I am, my gypsy days behind me. My dreams of running the State Library are also buried in the dust. However, there is still a dream within my grasp and that is to build my own little book haven. I have been madly googling free libraries this afternoon. I also began googling gumtree.com.au in the hopes of finding an old boxy thing that can be converted into my Front Yard Library.
The brightest moment was when my dear, beloved husband responded to my mad descriptive text with the words, “Great idea.” He truly is wonderful.
So stay tuned. The idea has been planted and roots are madly sprouting. One day soon there will be a decorative box in a prominent spot in my front yard. It will be full of books and you will be invited to ‘take one, leave one’.
I can’t wait.