There’s something about ink and paper, tattered pages, a glossy cover starting to fade, that technology will never be able to capture.
The most prolific lovers of words will always have a place in their heart for a good book they can hold in their hands. And one of the best things about a real book is the ability to pass it around and share it with a friend.
As a long-time bookseller, Lisa Johnson has always taken enjoyment in sharing her love of books with others. Now she and her husband, Chuck, have taken that one step further with the construction of a “Little Free Library” at the end of their drive at 3204 Fifth Ave. North.
“Having been in the book business for years, this is such an automatic fit for me or anyone who loves books and wants to get more books out to people and really promote literacy,” says Lisa.
The Little Free Library movement is a rapidly growing global effort to build and install tiny libraries where anyone can take a book and leave a book. Stock plans and kits are available at the organization’s website, but the Fort Dodge couple took pride in putting their heads together to build and design their own library
“We kind of did the design on the fly,” says Lisa. “I sketched something and we just started building. When we encountered problems here and there we changed the design and kind of made it up as we went along.”
They were fortunate to have some historic pieces to give the library its own style.
“The boards that surround the house are 120-year-old heart pine from my brother-in-law’s farmhouse,” Lisa explains.
But even more important than the little library itself are the books it holds safely inside. The couple stocked it with donations from friends, as well as their overflowing bookshelves. The collection continues to grow and rotate as many of the people who take a book also leave a book they are finished reading.
Nothing makes Lisa happier than to see a new patron stop by to browse the little library.
“I do a little happy dance in my living room,” she says. “I love when people come to get a book.”
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