Tag Archives: books

The Little Library that Could

The Little Library that Could

Benjamin Naylor Barrett constructed the Little Free Library. Standing with him are Illana’s niece Ava and nephew Nathaniel Larkin (Photograph by Illana Naylor)

Illana Nayor’s children gave her a special Mother’s Day present this year. No, it wasn’t days of pampering at a spa. Nor was it a days-long shopping trip to New York, or candy or flowers or coupons for housework. They didn’t give any of the gifts we associate with the spring holiday.

They gave her a library.

It doesn’t have stone lions out front, and most patrons would have trouble getting in.

This library, part of the Little Free Library project, stands about two feet high and a foot wide with a pitched roof, painted a cheerful yellow and violet. Her son, Benjamin Naylor Barrett, built the library. Illana then stocked it with a variety of books.

Anyone walking or driving by can take a book and leave a book. It’s that simple. There’s no charge or sign out or permission required. “Some people have knocked at my door to ask if they can take a book out,” Naylor said as I talked with her last week. “It’s nice they want to say hello, but they don’t need my permission to borrow one of the books.”

She continued. “Like so many other middle class families, we have accumulated a houseful of stuff. I don’t need more things. I wanted something like the library, and my children met my wish. This little collection of books has become a focal point for the community. Neighbors meet other neighbors .whom they wouldn’t otherwise see. It’s something to watch. I’m so glad we did it.”

Little Free Libraries are springing up all over the country. Their website details the project and includes ordering information for an already built library, kit versions, and plans for those who want to take the do-it-yourself route. In addition, the organization supports various literacy and reading programs. Check it out at http://littlefreelibrary.org/

Illana stood at the curb in front of her house with her hand on her very special Mother’s Day gift. “I hope someone puts up one of these libraries on every block. Just think of the effect it would have on individuals and the community!” And she smiled.

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Picture Pages


I had been reading some other blogs lately and noticed that they have pictures. Lots of pictures. Even my daughter Alyssa’s Shame Squad blog (address is http://theshamesquad.blogspot.com/) has some fabulous pictures (and hilarity and recipes). With my background in essay writing, I tend to write. A lot. A friend of mine who reads a lot of blogs told me mine was usual in terms of the amount I wrote. She also said some other nice things about Biscuit City, but it would be self-serving to print them here.

I didn’t have pictures in my blog for a long time, except for the trademark picture of a biscuit on the title page. My posts were all words. I can’t figure out how to put a picture of a biscuit on this blog since I am using Word Press now, so the “cover art” is a nice picture of books. I like books. No, I love books. Then I have a picture related to the post. Please note the pretty cool picture of lightning above. Lightning is pretty cool except if you get struck by it, in which case it is pretty hot. And shocking. Ouch.

Anyhow, in line with more pictures in my posts, and fewer words (too late for that with this post), here’s a really cute kitty picture:Image

Isn’t that precious? We all know the internet was created so people could post really cute pictures of kitties. I love kitties and cats. I know everyone does not love cats, but we are cat people and have always had one or two in the house since we started housekeeping. Currently we have Nacho, “my” dilute tortie, and Tuxedo, Becky’s tuxedo cat. They are endlessly amusing and impress me with their ability to sleep most of the day and to ask for food at inconvenient times (.e.g, when I’m sleeping). Wacky cats! Get off the table! Stop fighting! Both of them are afraid of mice, which raises the question of how useful they are. They’re too old to be cute (Nacho is ten, a “senior cat,” and Tuxedo about six or so) and as I said mostly lie around so I guess they would best be described as “decorative.” Yes, that’s a good word to describe our cats.

I also love books, but there’s a picture of some books in the cover picture. And I like music and airplanes, so here’s a picture of some of each for you. Enjoy!


(This is a picture of a J-3 Piper Cub, a little later model of the Piper J-2 the hero of my novel, On the Wings of Morning, learned to fly on. <— Shameless plug, which is the best kind.)


(This is not a picture of actual music I have sung in the Manassas Chorale or the Chorale Ensemble or the Sanctuary Choir at our church or played in Evensong Bells, our adult handbell group. It’s generic, but I think you get the idea.)

I hope you have enjoyed these words and pictures today. Have a great day, look at some pictures of cute kitties and cool airplanes, read a book, and sing some music! You’ll enjoy all of them!

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