The Little Free Library on the corner of Water and Mechanic in Decorah is a lovely place for bibliophiles, (those lovers of books), to find one another. Right next to the Northeast Iowa Montessori School, it provides a convenient space to leave a book or two and pick up one that might be your next great summer read. On my recent visit, I dropped off The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and truth be told, a copy of my own book. Inside the covered shelter of the LFL, there were a variety of books from which to select, especially for the younger set, but since my own bookshelves are already heavy beneath the weight of literary classics and light reads, I decided to just contribute one and not collect one.
The concept of the LFL, the first of which was built in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009, provides a microcosm of community that really inspires individuals to connect and engage with each other and the written word. It serves as a hub for exchanging ideas as you see what others have left behind for you to peruse and you pass along your worn favorites to a new home. As you ponder your choices, you’ll also be able to take in the public mural depicting Water Street in 1888 that was finished on the Centennial Anniversary in 1988 that adorns the side of the Montessori School, so it’s truly a place where community art and literary exchange converge.
During the leisure of a Saturday afternoon, you might pick up something that intrigues you as you pass by on your way to see a new exhibit at Vesterheim. Perhaps that old copy of Harry Potter might be deposited as you make your way to the Oneota Co-op for lunch. Or maybe you're headed down to take in visual media at Fridley Theatres and you want a little print media for later in the afternoon. Centrally located, this Little Free Library is virtually "on the way" any time you walk downtown to do a little shopping, grab a bite, or maybe take in lecture at ArtHaus. So, stop by today and find out what tome treasures and unexpected conversations await. And bring that well-loved book of yours along to contribute to the literary collective.