Just Raveling Away
Fridays Are (Still) For Poetry

Walking In My Neighborhood: The Little Libraries

JoJo and I go walking in my neighborhood every day.*  We don't have a destination in mind.  We just head out along the quiet streets and see where our mood takes us.  The fresh air is a treat, and it feels so good to get out of the house and move around.

So far, since I started keeping track on March 13, JoJo and I have clocked 125 miles together!


And, yeah.  It gets a little boring . . . walking the same streets, day after day (after day after day).  I usually listen to a book or a podcast while we walk, which helps make the miles go faster.  And it's fun to watch spring unfolding in the neighborhood.  Walking these familiar streets also gives me a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness and pay more attention to the things I see all the time.

For example, I discovered earlier this week that we have THREE Little Free Libraries in the neighborhood.  I've known about two of them for a long time now (because I pass them often on my more "regular" routes), but on Monday we took a path I don't usually follow . . . and discovered another!

I always wanted to have a Little Library of my own.  My house is on a corner, and we get a fair amount of pedestrian traffic - especially when school is in session.  A few years ago, I even looked into getting one set up -- downloaded some plans to have my dad help me build one and everything.  But before I could get started . . . a neighbor just down the block put up this one:


It's a cute one -- and the bench is a great addition (although I've never noticed anyone sitting on it).  The location is kind of out of the way, and doesn't get as much traffic as my corner, but oh well.  They beat me to the punch!

A few blocks away, there's this very creative and well-used Little Library:


This Little Library is in a PERFECT location (much better than mine would have been).  It's on a corner on the main road into our neighborhood, and is right on the way to the neighborhood elementary school.  I (used to) see kids stopping on their way to and from school all the time to switch out books.  This one changes over quickly -- and has puzzles and games in addition to books.  Since the stay-at-home order, there is also a neighborhood food swap going on here.  (At Christmas time, this Little Library was all decked out with lights and greens.  It was so cute!)

So those were the 2 Little Libraries I already knew about.  The other day, I changed my route and walked around the neighborhood elementary school and found another one -- right there on the school yard:


How fun is that?!!  Little Libraries everywhere!

How about you?  Do you have any Little Libraries nearby?  And have you ever thought about creating one of your own?


Be sure to stop in at Carole's for more Three on Thursday posts!


* Jenny is not completely left out of the dog-walking fun!  Now 13, Jenny can't really manage much of a walk anymore.  She's deaf and (we're pretty sure) blind in at least one eye and she moves pretty slowly these days -- but she still wants to come walking with us.  Tom takes her on a leisurely walk around the block every day (we start out all together, and then JoJo and I veer off on our own) and Jenny LOVES it.  At first, she could barely make it a few houses down the road before Tom had to take her back home, but now she's making it all around the block and getting stronger all the time.  (See?  Exercise IS really good -- even for old folks!)



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You and JoJo have put on an amazing number of miles, and it's even better hearing that the whole family starts out together and you've discovered all the Little Free Libraries. I love the one that also has puzzles, games, and food!


There's a Little Free Library right at the entrance to one of our local grocery stores, which I always thought was a pretty good location!

Carolyn Seymour Thomas

Go, Jenny!!! How old is JoJo?
So--we have lots of LLLs near us...three within walking distance (probably more, if I took some new routes!). Here's the thing--and I'm curious about the ones near you... The selection is terrible in all 3 of ours! So disappointing! Most of the books, across all genres and ages, look and smell like they came out of musty storage from the '80s, or earlier. (And we live in a very dry climate--so I'm pretty sure they were Musty On Arrival.) I'll be interested to hear about others' experiences!


Wow! 125 miles is a lot (for neighborhood walking). I love that Tom and Jenny start out with you before you and JoJo veer off for a longer adventure. I would still put up a Little Free Library - there are never too many! (I'm glad you were finally able to post!)


So good to hear you still have Jenny...I was wondering when you said you walked with JoJo. Glad to hear she is still moving even if she is showing her age. Give her a scritch from me!

We are a tiny town with a library in the middle so we have no mini libraries but I love the idea of them! :) I think you could still put one up on your corner if you really wanted to. Or maybe do a jigsaw puzzle exchange or something a little different from the usual.


Thank you for the update on Jenny ... I'm glad she's getting out ... and getting stronger! I used to have two Little Libraries in my weekly path - one at the park and one at church. I miss them - the one at the park had a little jar of dog cookies, too. Now ... I don't have any. The neighborhood where we walk has been a delightful source of conversation (because we pass the SAME houses now almost 50 days in a row!), but nothing like a library. sigh.

gale z

I love this--I wish I was putting on more walking miles than I am. We've had a few good hikes and lots of short walks on the beach. A Little Library popped up right on the corner by my house in early March, its a charming one built in an old repurposed cabinet nd I've taken on neatening it since I'm one of the closest houses (its by a cafe). All three of yours are sweet! Its such an excellent idea.

kathy b

Thanks for taking us along on your walks. I miss my dog when I walk ....He was a greet walking companion


I love that Jenny story! (and go you and Jojo!!)


You know I love these little free libraries and they are super important right now when the big public libraries are closed. Being a librarian, I would love to have one in front of my house but there's already one down the street from us and we don't really get foot traffic since the sidewalk is on the other side of the street. You and JoJo are amazing!


Love Little Libraries. You and Jojo could have walked almost to Holland and back with your mileage. I do miss seeing Jenny. Chloe


I love little free libraries. I see one on my neighborhood walks. I have considered putting one up but we live up in cul-de-sac and don't get much pedestrian or other kind of traffic. Isn't it grand to get out of the house and walk a bit. I've started to mix up my routes in order to see the neighborhood from a different vantage point. It's interesting that even walking on the other side of the street or from the opposite direction changes the way I see things. It takes little to amuse me. - good thing these days. ;-)


Thank you for the update on Jenny! I've been meaning to ask you about her. How wonderful to hear she's enjoying the daily walks. We have one library in the neighborhood just west of us and our clubhouse has quite a large library (for residents only) which is well curated by our 83 yo neighbor (you would think she was 63). I know of another that's in our city park (on residential property that borders the park) and it's the cutest one I've ever seen.

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