Always remember. Never forget.
~ September 11, 2001 ~
Hi. My name is Kristin Kisska, and I am a book-aholic.
By book-aholic, I mean that I love all things bookish: shopping for books, the smell of books, the heft of a book in my hands, the satisfying turn--or swipe--of a page to start one-more-chapter-before-I-go-to-bed kind of books.
By design, I don't even know how many books I have in my possession. I have three different to-be-read piles all triaged by the amount of guilt I'd quash if I read them before any others, a collection that I keep proudly displayed of authors I've met, and my signed books. And then there's the pile of books that have been passed along to me. Sure, I also have an e-reader loaded with good, unread content vying for my attention, but there's something special about a stack of paper ready to transport me to another world.
But my biggest (and growing!) piles by far are the books I've already read. My bookshelves would agree as they groan with each new addition squeezed onto the double- and triple-stacked mounds and even crammed over top, too.
Normally, when my piles take up too much of my floor's real estate, I'll haul a box of books over to my local library to donate so that they can sell them in their next fundraiser. But--no surprise--things aren't exactly normal these days. My library has been closed these past six months due to the pandemic, and even though they are offering limited access to their collection, they are not accepting donations.
What's a book-aholic to do now that I have extra time to read?
Option A. Let my book piles invade every nook and spare corner of my home in a manner that would inspire Marie Kondo to host a decluttering intervention.
Option B. Pack up my books in shopping bags, then ding-dong-ditch them on my quarantining neighbors' front steps. They need entertainment too, right?
*** Or, better yet ***
Option C. Drop my already-read (and sanitized!) books off at a Little Free Library. Why? Glad you asked.
In most areas of the United States, local libraries and schools are closed, and way-too-many people are experiencing financial hardships from layoffs and/or reduced income. Purchasing books is a luxury many in our communities may not be able to indulge in for the foreseeable future. People of all ages still appreciate entertainment. What better way to spend free hours than in a good, time-treasured paperback.
Share the love. Share the adventure.
If you loved a particular book you plan to donate, add a sticky note to the cover saying why. Even if you didn't enjoy the book and could barely eke through the first few chapters before giving up, it could become someone else's favorite read.
https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ . Especially if you are donating books during the pandemic, please follow the CDC's sharing guidelines, which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html .
But what if you live in an area without a Little Free Library nearby? You can open one yourself. Instructions are on their website. Or you can take a page from best selling author, Michelle Gable's playbook and host your own temporary free bookshop right in your own front yard. PS - Dog not included.
Are you a crime or mystery author? Use your local Little Free Library network to increase your readership. If you write and have extra copies on hand of your novels or anthologies, consider strategically placing one or more in your neighborhood and share the news on social media, like author Tessa Wegert did. Include a bookmark with your website, or even a hashtag. A few fresh reviews, photos of your book in the wild, and the publicity may be just the boost your platform could use while in-person book events are discouraged.
What do you do with your already-read or extra books?
PS ~ Let's be social:
- Twitter - @KKMHOO
- Facebook - Kristin Kisska
- Instagram - @KristinKisskaAuthor
- Website - www.KristinKisska.com