A ROOM WITH A POINT OF VIEW
The littlest library that could
By SHAGORIKA EASWAR
Once upon a time, not too long ago, a little library sprouted on the front lawn of Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin.
Filled with books, it encouraged people to take a book or leave a book. The community he lived in loved it so much, he built more. And then more. These little libraries had caught the imagination of the people and soon, they could be spotted on front yards of homes across North America and as far as India.
Taking off from this idea of sharing books that began in 2009, the HollisWealth Story Pod in Newmarket, Ontario, expands on it, providing a reading nook in a public space.
Some ideas are so smart and yet so simple in execution that when you first hear of them, you wonder why on earth it took so long for someone to come up with them.
The Story Pod is one such.
The three-sided structure opens up to reveal book shelves and reading benches. Two sides close on themselves when it shuts for the night.
On one sunny afternoon, a young couple is reading to a toddler who is more intent on exploring the books on his own.
An older couple strolls by, smiles at the couple, coos at the child and drops off a few books.
A man cycles up, saying, “Isn’t this the neatest thing?”
It most certainly is.
I spot a copy of The Iliad, books by Elizabeth Gilbert, children`s books, random titles on business and finance, and several mystery and romance novels.
Most are dog-eared, much-loved. And that is the best part of the idea, really. So many of us have books we don’t necessarily want to hang on to once we are done reading them. They take up valuable shelf space until we get rid of them in a drastic purge and dump them in the blue recycling bins. But this is one of the best examples of reuse and recycle, I think. This way, someone else can enjoy them, prolonging the books’ lives.
Open Monday to Sunday, 9 am to 9 pm, weather permitting, it is described as the new place to read, learn, be inspired and engage with your community on the Town of Newmarket’s website.
Take a book to read at your leisure. Once you’re finished enjoying it, please bring it back or bring another book you’d love to share with your community. The HollisWealth Story Pod, in design and function, encourages you to open your heart and mind to life’s possibilities similar to the way a book does. The HollisWealth Story Pod could not be possible without the generous donation by Scott Munro, Bill McTavish, and Ted Kurello of HollisWealth Newmarket along with the pro bono design and building of the Story Pod by AKB.
Back another day to drop off some books, I meet two women who are sitting there, chatting, while their kids, wet from the splash pad nearby, check out the books.
“We are the only ones that have this,” one of them informs me with great pride.
Now I don’t ponder over the fate of some books when I am done with them. I know where they will find a good home.
A story pod with a happy ending, and books that live happily ever after.