The Little Free Libary

I was told by a new follower of my photography that she likes to see Albuquerque through my eyes. Her words were on my mind on the morning when I found this little gem.

Where Berkeley and Wellesley Meet. In a Manner of Speaking.

Where Berkeley and Wellesley Meet. In a Manner of Speaking.

I have read that if you always drive a different way home it can help keep your mind limber and ward off dementia. There are a series of repetitive tasks I have to complete by way of my car each week. I’ve taken to following this advice and rarely go home the same way. This approach gives my eyes totally new sights through neighborhoods where I have only a scant familiarity. The best part is that I make little discoveries, and some of them are occasionally worth picture making.

Near an intersection of two streets, a residence has staked into the grass next to the sidewalk this “Little Free Library.” It is the corner of Wellesley PL NE and Berkeley PL NE. People familiar with institutions of higher learning in the United States may find those references, and the fact that they comprise an intersection, as amusing as I did.

The words to the manifesto on one side are printed in all caps. For the sake of you reading this as text, I’m altering the presentation to make it easier on the eyes:

“HOW TO BUILD COMMUNITY: Turn Off Your TV. Leave Your House. Know Your Neighbors. Look Up When You Are Walking. Greet People. Sit On Your Stoop. Plant Flowers. Use Your Library. Play Together. Buy From Local Merchants. Share What You Have. Help A Lost Dog. Take Children To The Park. Garden Together. Support Neighborhood Schools.”

The Little Free Library has a simple hook and eye latch. Behind the glass door, the following books were among those available for the taking, and in no particular order:

  • Ladies of Liberty, by Cokie Roberts;
  • Unlock the Einstein Inside, by Dr. Ken Gibson;
  • The Morris Dees Story, by Morris Dees;
  • Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, by Jonathan Balcombe;
  • Man and His Gods, by Homer William Smith;
  • Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharov;
  • The Fire Within, by Chris d’Lacey;
  • Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver.

At first, I was skeptical about the sort of reading material that one might find in such a kiosk. To be honest, I haven’t yet read a single one of these titles. I was pleased to discover that most were favorably reviewed by readers on Amazon and on Goodreads; there was genre and age-level variety for such a little library. I am assuming, too, that the idea behind the library is that passersby will exchange a good book with the library shelves for someone else to enjoy when he or she retrieves one for reading pleasure.

The randomness of it all, including my stumble upon it, was exactly what I needed to add to my anti-dementia discovery.

As for the dual image, this is the second time in a matter of a few days that I’ve shared a diptych on the blog. I thought about presenting each image as single shot, but then changed my mind. I also apologize that it wasn’t until I fit these two photographs together that I realized the image on the left is more crooked than the other image. Sorry about that.  No time to correct that minor adjustment. You get the point.

I like the “filmstrip” quality that these related sequences provide. Sometimes a pairing or group of images seems to keep everything tied together best by using this presentation method. It’s good to have choices about how a series or group of images can be shown. Sometimes the images will work on their own merits. Some pairings are a sum greater than would be the whole as individual shots. It was the former that caused me to provide both images together. I’m going to see if I can borrow from the city library an electronic copy of one of these particular reads.


As a side note, if you are subscribed to this blog, you received a preview copy of this post before it was intended to go live; I think it showed up on September 25th. It’s not deja-vu that you may be reading this post again. Sorry for the double-take. There are quirks to publishing a schedule runway on WordPress. Sometimes the time of day or date reverts and changes to one that has already passed; and certainly to a time that was not what the user intended for the item.  If the editor believes the scheduled date has taken place, the post goes live. That’s what happened here. To borrow the phrasing style used in the script from Forest Gump [Stupid is as stupid does]: Glitchy is as glitchy does.

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