Woman Creates Magical Neighborhood Library From 110-Year-Old Dead Tree
For hundreds of years, libraries have been sources of knowledge, solitude, and happiness. They are one of a few places where people are encouraged to spend time without the expectation of spending money. That's why libraries are often located in community centers. They are free and therefore accessible to everyone, which creates a real sense of community.
Books, after all, are what connect us to the past and it's important that we cherish the information they contain and use it to inform our futures. This is why the nonprofit organization Little Free Library exists. In an age where we are never more than a few clicks away from an endless number of distractions, it wants to keep people's love of reading alive.
So, how is the Little Free Library doing this? I hear you ask. Well, the clue is in the organization's name. It aims to inspire "a love of reading, building community, and sparking creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world." And in this instance, the phrase neighborhood book exchanges refer to adorable little libraries.
The organization has so far been responsible for the creation of 75,000 libraries provided in 88 countries. Bookworms rejoice!
But not all of these little libraries have been created equal, and one of the coolest in existence was created by a family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. When Sharalee Armitage Howard, a librarian, artist, and former bookbinder, saw a 110-year-old stump of a dead tree outside her house, she decided that it would be the perfect place to locate a little library in her community.
Had she not made this decision, the tree would have simply been dug up and destroyed.
"Ok, this project isn't quite finished...", she wrote on what became a viral Facebook post, "but I can't wait to share it. We had to remove a huge tree that was over 110 years old, so I decided to turn it into a little free library (which I've always wanted). Here it is (minus some cleanup, vegetation, and trim work)!
As the picture below demonstrates, it just goes to show that, with enough imagination, new life can come from death!
One of my favorite features of the little library is its lantern. Even if a person in the community is walking home late at night, it still has the ability to catch their eye and potentially prompt them to pick up a book which changes their life forever.
The little library even has its own set of stone steps leading up to it.
But arguably its greatest feature is the gorgeous door leading to the treasures within.
As you can tell, it has lights inside too.
Here is a snapshot of some of the books on offer.
Hopefully, with the amount of publicity Howard's post has received, there won't be any empty space inside for much longer.
She has even adorned the books with miniature carvings of classics.
These include J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.
And, of course, Call of the Wild. Aren't they adorable?!
Understandably, people on social media were full of praise for the creation, especially when it was posted to Reddit.
Fancy taking a tour of Howard's Little Library? Check out the video below:
"This is where you go when you're stumped and need to look something up," Reddit user bfloblizzard wrote.
"It's like a house of horrors for trees. Inside the corpse of their former comrade are the processed remnants of their treebrothers and treesisters," joked another user with the questionable name 'discerningpervert'.
"A literal Treehouse of Horror,"
Some people, however, expressed concerns about what the local authority might say about the Little Library with VHSRoot writing, "As someone that works in zoning and code enforcement, I could see some town official be a huge ass over that."
Similarly, buttgers wrote, "I see those steps and that slope as a liability for the lady to be sued by someone who happens to fall and slip and decides to be an ass about it."
"I had one near my house when I lived in [Canada], i think it was not really a library, it was more of a penny box type of deal, if it had a book you wanted yo utook it, if you had a book you didn't want you donated, it always had a few [sic]," wrote Enzo_GS.
"I live in Germany and there are quite a few of these around!" revealed Little Library fan sekhmet0108. "And they are almost always completely full! I have found many amazing books there... from Molière to Dickens to pulitzer winners. They are amazing! And i try to put as many as i take. It is really conducive to a general feeling of community togetherness [sic]."
But most people's thoughts were summed up by pinniped1 who simply wrote, "OMG... This is the best little free library I've ever seen. That's awesome!"
What do you think of Howard's Little Library? Has it inspired you to get creative and make your own? Or do you think you'll stick to the wider choice on offer at large scale libraries? Let us know in the comments section.