Today I had a mini adventure in North Berkeley trying to locate the Little Free Library on Shattuck & Rose.. oh! Scratch that.. Rose & Henry! Wait.. what?
First you might be asking: "What is a Little Free Library??"
If you are, I can tell you it's a neat little book exchange place! A little library, often a little box or cabinet placed on a street corner or in someone's own yard, or even a park-like place.. but only by the people who maintain that property..
Sometimes decorated rather sweetly, they'll have a shelf or so, that one may place some books for folks to 'take a book' and/or 'leave a book'... These are not commercial ventures really.. They are created by and promoted in the community... Someone, most often a neighbor, or perhaps a community group.. will build and put one up, helping to maintain it, and sometimes register the location with the Little Free Library website.. Doing so makes it easier for people to locate a Little Free library in their area.. Neighbors can see if there's a book they'd like to read.. and perhaps also leave a book for others to enjoy! Sometimes there are many that aren't registered.
One such un-registered location is the Little Free Library at 2095 Rose St..
I thought I'd come across it on a previous walk to Live Oak Park.. So heading up Shattuck, beyond Rose Street I looked and didn't see it.. Maybe it was at the entrance to Live Oak Park? No, no! Definitely not!
I headed back down the street where I knew a cafe that had good wifi.. looked it up again.. I had seen an article on the Little Free Libraries dated January 2014 from the Contra Costa Times that mentions a few in Berkeley and El Cerrito. Then there's "Quirky Berkeley" A fun site that has a page on the Free Speech Movement posted from 2013 that includes pictures and locations of several Little Free Libraries in Berkeley.. Including the one here at the Better Homes & Gardens location on Rose:
It's the folks at Better Homes & Gardens Mason-McDuffie kindly providing the conveyance to your Little Library Euphoria.. Fantastic! Thank you!!
Here is a look-see on the current offerings (as of about 4pm?) at this particular Little Free Library:
..I heard childrens books are popular, so as we're in the process of moving (and my book real estate is at a premium.. Oh please pardon the pun! I really had no idea this was a sponsored location 'til I found it!) I wanted to be sure and leave a couple books that I've enjoyed in the past for potential reader(s)..
Hopefully someone will snap them up for some fun Summer reading..
I can't recommend The Mouse and the Motorcycle enough! (also Beverly Cleary's Runaway Ralph was a favorite of mine when I was very little.. (you can find that one at your local Public Library most likely..) I haven't owned that one or my original personal copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle, for that matter in ages but they're lovely books!)
I also left a copy of the 1995 Newbery Award-winning Walk Two Moons which is really a YA (young adult) or tween-appropriate book perhaps.. It's a story in a story.. and deals with subjects like divorce, family abandonment, death, struggles of growing up, childhood friendships, family social structures, love, and dealing with your cultural identity.. It sounds rather grey and dreary but it's actually a road trip tale told from the point of view of a young lady to her grandparents. There's funny bits and sad bits.. just like real life. Highly recommend!