Dallastown now has a Little Free Library.

The Little Free Library “is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.” It’s a wooden box on a post, decorated in some way, and it’s filled with books the community wants to share. My friend Nea has written about the one near her home extensively. I was intrigued, and maybe even a little jealous; I hadn’t seen anything like that near me.

Then, Saturday morning, I did. I was driving through Dallastown to go to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and I saw something new along Main Street — a Little Free Library on the lawn of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

Sunday afternoon, I walked into town to check it out. I was curious what sort of stuff might be in it. What does Dallastown read?

The box appeared to be fairly new. (This article about the installation isn’t dated, but the metadata on the photo indicates the photo was taken on September 15th.) There were roughly thirty books inside.

The books broke down four ways.

There were religious books, like biographies of Biblical characters, prayer books and devotionals, and a book on Biblical prophecy by Left Behind‘s Tim LaHaye.

There were cookbooks.

There were children’s books, especially Sesame Street interactive and board books.

There were some beat-up paperbacks — Robert Ludlum thrillers and the like.

The books were haphazardly arranged in the box, so I started rearranging them. In so doing, I found some books that weren’t books at all. They were just covers. There was a Muppet Babies cover and another cover. There were a couple of cooking magazines.

I cleaned it up, pulled out the junk, and added two books that I’d brought with me.

One was Edmund Morris’ The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. I had this in paperback and read it several years ago (which prompted the thought that the teenaged TR would have been perfect as a Doctor Who companion), and last year I replaced it in my library with a hardcover edition that I picked up for about six dollars. So, this was a spare, and Dallastown’s Little Free Library struck me Sunday as a very good home for it.

The other was ReDeus: Divine Tales, an anthology with my story, “The Ginger Kid.” Someone in Dallastown might like it!

Except for the junk — the bookless covers and the cooking magazines — I didn’t take anything from the Little Free Library.

But I’ll check it out again. I have other books in search of good homes.

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