It may just be a small box of wood, but it houses a world of stories.
Londoner Dan Elia, with the help of his cousin and father, built a Little Free Library on his street. It’s a “take one, leave one” free book exchange with the goal of building a community, sparking creativity, and inspiring readers.
“People can come on their leisure to the box. They can leave a book of their choosing and then they can take one,” Elia explains.
He decided to take on the task of building one in his neighbourhood after biking past one everyday when he lived in Waterloo, even though he never had time to stop.
“I really liked the idea, but I just never had time to read non-school stuff. Then when I got back here I just took up the idea and made it because I had never seen it in London.”
Elia was the brains of the operation, his cousin the handy man, and his dad the artist.
“I came to [my cousin] with the idea and then he went on AutoCAD, put up a blueprint of it, and then we went to the local store and grabbed materials. Then my father painted it.”
Though it’s only been up for two weeks, he’s started to see some use out of it. The first books taken and returned were Harry Potter.
Even though there is a trend towards e-readers and tablets, Elia thinks there is still a sense that people appreciate a physical copy.
“We can see it in schools today. There’s the SMART boards now and a lot more use of electronics, but I think people my age still have that sentiment that having a book in your hand where you can turn the pages is more fulfilling then having a turning feel with a tablet or kindle.”
To find a Little Free Library near you, click here.