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Someone must have only read the first part of the statement, ”Take a Book, Return a Book” at the Little Free Library in West Williamson. They literally took ALL of the books. When I went out this morning to walk and looked at the library as I usually do, imagine my surprise when I found it empty.

The Little Free Library movement began in 2009 when the mother of Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, died. His mother had been a book lover and a school teacher. He was distraught over her death and wanted to honor her memory in some way, so he built a small replica of a one room school house complete with a little steeple containing a tiny school bell. He erected it on a pole in his front yard, filled it with books and waited for people to notice it, which they did. From that idea came the Little Free Library movement.

I had read about it and thought what a great way to encourage people to read and to give away some of the many books in my house. Everyone in my family loves books, so we have quite a collection. We all love to see people reading and will stop a stranger with a book and ask what he or she is reading.

Five years ago, I ordered A Little Free Library from the organization and let my grandchildren paint it. I have had more fun supplying it with books and will continue to do so. I really enjoy seeing it in my yard and thinking about all the people who love to read. I do hope whoever took all the books did so with the intention of reading them or sharing them.

(Incidentally, the blue writing on my library says in Japanese, “Library under the Blue Sky,” meaning it is an outdoor library).

I also am part of a group called the American Association of University Women, who installed a Little Free Library at Goodman Manor and continue to supply it with books. Several times I have noticed someone is taking all the books from it at one time. I reiterate the thought that I hope whoever is doing this is doing so with the intention of reading them or sharing them.

Let’s all encourage others to enrich their lives with reading and keep the Little Free Libraries filled with books to share. Remember, it is “Take a Book, Return a Book.”

Happy reading!

Linda VanMeter is a resident of West Williamson, W.Va.