By Barry and Monique Zander
How lucky we travelers are to have arrays of books ready for us to swap at almost every RV park and campground! For mobile RVers – moving every few days, weeks or months – it’s often a hassle to find a library in your temporary home and then to go through the process of being able to qualify to borrow books while you’re staying local. With libraries in almost every city closed during the pandemic, your options are even slimmer.
If you’re a reader, we’re sure you’ve availed yourself of the bookshelf in the park office. But, what if you’re an off-road camper, or you’ve read every Janet Evanovich novel ever written (doubtful), and that’s all you see in the office bookcase? There is an alternative, and the books are free!
In towns big and small across America – and, worldwide for that matter – Little Free Library stands have sprung up in residential and commercial locations seemingly everywhere. Besides that, non-profit organizations, local libraries, businesses and non-affiliated sponsored groups have initiated free remote lending stands and boxes (as the picture shows).
How does it work? Very simple. Whoever installed the shelves hope you will grab books that interest you, put them back at the same or another location when you’re done. The hope is that you will add any of your books to the inventory. The cost: zero. It’s all on the honor system.
In doing a bit of amateur research for this article, I put “Little Free Library” in Google and here’s what I found. There is a wealth of information online, especially how to find locations and how and why it works. I took it a step further and searched for in “free library book stands” and found similar sites; for instance, Helping Friendly Book Stands, which “are free public book exchanges where people can ‘Pass The Knowledge’ and share their favorite books.”
These book stands are all around us; we just need to know where to look.