Exploring NYC’s little free libraries on National Reading Month

One of the most special things about New York City isn’t just amazing stuff to do and see. It’s what you don’t necessarily see. Underrated spots, quiet streets, and hidden gems sprinkled across the island. It may be loud, fast, and obnoxious sometimes. But it also possesses a irresistible charm that is impossible to replicate. One of those hidden gems are the little free libraries, featured in various sections of Manhattan.

The East Village alone is home to two little free libraries. One in the quiet, historic Stuyvesant Square Park, and the other inside Stuyvesant Town.

The idea is quite simple. A house shaped mini library where you can both leave, and take a book for free. It’s honor code, and unlike the actual library, you don’t need to go digging for your membership card. These are yours until you pass them on to the next owner again, which you inevitably will.

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A decade ago Todd H. Bol in created the first mini library book exchange in his Wisconsin front yard. Inspired by his late mother, a teacher, he wanted to create something special dedicated to a love of book sharing.

Now, one little idea has become a movement that spans the globe. There are over 80,000 little free libraries across the U.S. and even internationally in ninety countries.

Celebrating a tenth anniversary this year, the little free libraries have helped share more than 120 million books. All connecting people through a love of books and reading.

This national reading month, grab a book from your shelf and head to find one of the little free libraries for yourself. Then come back and tell me what you swapped it for.

In this fast paced city, second chances are everywhere, and even books can get another chance to live a different life.

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What are you reading during national reading month??


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