Little Free Libraries and Book-Share Boxes | book-share boxes

There are few things as charming as the book-share boxes movement. These little boxes create a sense of community, foster a love of reading and are something that can brighten a Monday morning.

“Take a book, leave a book” is the motto of the Little Free Library movement which has been spreading quickly over the last few years. Anyone can create a box, fill it with books and label them free. It’s that simple.

The movement started in Wisconsin in 2009 by Todd Bol in memory of his mother, a former school teacher. Todd built a tiny replica of an one-room schoolhouse, filled it with books and labelled it Free Books. The original idea was seen by Rick Brooks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and together the two created the enterprise as an agent for the common good.

The idea has caught on to such an extent that most boxes I see now are not part of the LFL organization but are spontaneous gestures of sharing. If you are having difficulty finding a box try the online resource for a map.

little free library box

So clearly this photo was taken last year but one can dream. Spring is a time when I start to make all sorts of plans for what projects we’ll undertake at the cottage over the summer and building a book-share box to situate at “the turn” on the road is high on the list.

A bit of whimsy in the city | painted

It could be the parkette where you stop and sit on a hot day, it could be the charming alleyway that you pass that makes you smile, your favourite walking path, the best graffiti… it could be anything. If I have to live in a big city, little hidden gems that charm me, make me stop and really look or do a double-take are what makes a city mine. 

These painted utility boxes, scattered around street corners in Toronto, are some of those little charmers.

As part of an anti-graffiti effort nine utility boxes at select intersections downtown were re-imagined by artists last year and the project was expanded this year to include other areas of the city. There is a list but it’s more fun if you look for them.

Painted utility box


Farm painted utility box


Fish painted utility box