The other day my roommate and I were talking about Free Little Libraries. Part of the conversation had come about because of a Minneapolis police force policing a Free Little Library and saying that people stole all the books.
So we started off talking about if you can actually steal from a FLL or not and if it’s even worth stealing from them at all.
We agreed that most of the FLL mainly always carry the same kinds of books. Most of these books we don’t think would fetch a lot of money even if you tried selling them on FB Marketplace, Ebay, or to Half Price Books.
It got me thinking about how almost every FLL I’ve come across always seems to carry the same kinds of books no matter where you go.
These make the most sense to see in them a lot because there are a lot of children out there who can’t afford to buy new books. Although the library is free, not every family has the ability or the time to go to the library instead. So having a variety of the children’s books in the FLL is great!
I’m going to be completely honest here, as a Christian, I always feel a little weird when I see explicitly Christian themed books in the FLL. You know someone put them there on purpose. My whole thing is if you’re going to try and spread the gospel through a FLL, at least put the bible in it and not something that isn’t that.
Beyond that, I rarely see other types of religious books in there. I’ve never seen any other holy text or books about other religions in them. Granted, I live in a Christian dominated area, so I’m not surprised.
If it’s not Children’s books in these, it’s always Nora Roberts or some other mass produced grocery store romance book. Granted, a lot of people like these. And probably a lot of moms too. So if you’re grabbing children’s books may as well grab a romance book as well.
However, I would like to see some other romance books in here as well. Something a bit more fun. I’ve been seeing a lot of cute illustrated cover romance books and those sound a lot more interesting. Maybe we can include Sarah Dessen at least?
Random Self Help Books
I feel almost the way awkward way about these as I do seeing self help Christian focused books here. Granted a lot of people like self help books but sometimes I feel it’s almost condescending to put these in there. However, with the right self help book, I think they can be a positive impact.
I have on multiple occasions seen old copies of Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and other really popular books in the FLL. To me, it’s a little funny because these books are so common every where and I don’t know a lot of people who don’t own at least a couple of these (me actually, I don’t own any of the Twilight or Harry Potter books).
Textbooks People Didn’t Know What Else to do With
This category and the next one cracks me the most up, because neither of these are going to be revelent to most other people in the neighborhood. I recently added in some art and design books to my apartment complex’s FLL, however, I made sure they were ones that would be useful still.
Graphic Design books especially go out of usefulness really quick. A lot of the information can be found online now and the manuals just aren’t needed in paperback. I only buy graphic design books that contain essays, history, or some other timeless advice in them now.
Really old editions of CD programs or really old nonfiction books
Like the previous example, I have sometimes seen people put in outdated CD programs or those “idiot’s guide to windows 97” books in FLL. I just laugh at them because you know someone didn’t know what else to do with them but didn’t want to throw them away. I guess in some instances the CD programs could still potentially be useful, but the older books….I just don’t know if they’re worth adding.
Other than that, those are the biggest theme’s I’ve seen people add. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments! Do you see a lot of these in your local Free Little Library as well?
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2 thoughts on “The Types of Books that Exist in Free Little Libraries.”
You know, I’ve never taken a look. But now I’m totally going to make sure I do!