Olive and I have been rather cooped up as of late. The snow and cold have made it difficult to get in much more than short walks around town. But I don’t mind. I find hibernating in the dead of winter with the fire on and a book in hand to be kind of what winter is meant for. Olive, however, doesn’t quite get the whole winter-is-for-reading idea. In fact, books to her are something she can shred with glee, and she has attempted to do so on several occasions. I am currently reading a liberally tooth-marked copy of Louise DeSalvo’s book The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity.
Olive has also sunk her teeth into a book on puppy training. She did manage to shred the dust jacket on that one. Oh, the irony. Fortunately, most of my books are in hiding, in cupboards or closets with doors that close. It’s only the ones that I am currently reading that, despite my best efforts, she seems to find, and I am always reading at least a couple of books at once.
When Olive takes to shredding books, it’s best just to get her out on a walk, regardless of the snow and cold. Our go-to place is the dog park, where, if she isn’t playing hard with a bigger dog friend, she is tossing a tennis ball around and searching for it when it rolls out of her limited range of vision. Other times we just take back roads like Old St. Vrain Road, or we hit a trail that leads to the back roads.
While we run across all manner of breathtaking scenery, especially in the snow, it’s the several free libraries (or Little Free Libraries) that we come across on our journeys that always make me smile. By now, it’s probably clear I like books. I come from a family of bibliophiles. Books were just always around. I can’t pass a bookstore without going in and taking a look around, and I love that my local library is only steps away from my back door.
Lyons is a book town for sure. I think the first tiny library I noticed on our walks was the one outside Lyons Valley Village. I can’t pass it without taking a glance inside. When I started walking with my friend up Old St. Vrain Road, I noticed one there too. Just after getting a new sewing machine for Christmas one year, I found a book on sewing stashed there.
The newest Lyons branch of Little Free Libraries is located near the Rocky Mountain Botanic Gardens. It houses books largely focused on gardening and the outdoors. I think the most surprising library I’ve found is the one not far from the entrance to Button Rock Preserve. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more that Olive and I haven’t seen yet.
I know for sure that the libraries on Old St. Vrain Road and at the Rocky Mountain Botanic Gardens are part of the nonprofit Little Free Library program, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. The organization has been promoting literacy through encouraging people, communities, and organizations to build little take-a-book/leave-a-book boxes.
I loved the idea when I first heard about it years ago, and now I love that I see these boxes with books in them daily on my walks throughout Lyons with Olive. I have found treasures in each of them, and very soon will be culling some of my own book stash, hopefully without Olive’s help. I will be scattering a few in these treasured places–and saving a few for our own wonderful not-so-little local library.
Hopefully, you find some time during what’s left of winter to curl up with a good book. I’ll be doing the same while trying my best to keep them out of Olive’s reach.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this Opinion Column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any staff member, contribution writer or the Lyons Recorder.