Like many of you bookish folk out there, I sadly don’t have the luxury of whiling away the weekday hours with my nose in a good book. When I start to think about how much I could read if I didn’t have to partake in that niggly little thing called work I remind myself that it is, after all, currently funding my extreme book habit…
As it is, the vast majority of my reading is done in bed at night (woe betide the man who tells me to turn my light off!) on the rare empty weekend afternoon (drizzly) and, most importantly for the purposes of this post, on the train to and from work. I do so love my quiet 30 minutes, coffee in one hand, book in the other. The perfect way to relax before a stressful and potentially irritating day at the grindstone.
There have been a plethora of blog posts popping up of late on the Little Free Library movement; wonderful, bird-box-like structures that have steadily multiplied from Wisconsin eastwards and now number the several thousand. Nestling often in front yards and gardens, these structures elaborate on the ‘take a book leave a book’ philosophy you see in all too few coffee shops and waiting rooms.
As you can see from the cute little basket above, the literary prowess of my daily commute does not just extend to me catching up on my personal reading. Some inspired bookworm at our local station has added huge joy to my mornings by installing a little mini library of their own, one where it isn’t even obligatory to leave a book should you take one! Many a minute has been spent harvesting pristine copies of classics and new publications that I haven’t yet had the joy of reading (e.g. Jim Crace’s Harvest, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind) and leaving my own copies of books I know will otherwise merely languish on my shelves collecting dust for the rest of all time. Even though the books I leave in there are often stories I’m not overly fussed about, I do get a little tetchy if they don’t disappear right away into the arms of some appreciative commuter. The people in my neck of the woods happily seem to avid readers of a wide variety of books, usually quality and I often wonder how fun it would be to restrict myself to only reading from the book basket (yikes).
I think perhaps my little local station should seriously consider joining the Little Free Library community and make the book-loving official. I’m even subtly hinting to the other half that my idea of a perfect birthday/Christmas present would be a little literary chalet of my very own to stick in the front garden and watch the book loving villagers/walkers/bikers and horse riders ramble by and help themselves. Reading can often be such a solitary and lonely pastime, the more opportunities to share the worlds you love and discuss them with others the better.