On Capitol Hill they're pushing up like weeds, the free book boxes. Some are organized under the umbrella of littlefreelibrary.org, a group I'd never heard of until yesterday but is apparently an international org with on-line maps showing people desperate for something to read where to find boxes in places like Turin and Detroit. They also sell labels and placards and brochures and suggest building plans and materials.
Other boxes are renegades, sprung up delightfully unregulated.
The first book box I saw was a few years ago, in front of the junior Cymrots jack-o-lantern colored home on A Street, SE -- sitting there like a Lilliputian renegade branch of Riverby Books on East Capitol Street, which was founded by the senior Cymrots (One is reluctant to categorize Riverby as a used bookstore, since it is so tidily kept and carefully edited, and includes rarities).
|Capitol Hill Books Window|
This is the granddaddy of the neighborhood's book free-for-all (if I'm wrong, do tell).
|The one around the Corner from Safeway|
Those were three paragraphs of beside the point. The point being the book boxes,which can now be found scattered about the neighborhood.
Some are sadly utilitarian, like the one around the corner from Safeway. It's quite large, with a hinged lid, and often filled with the good and the curious and only a rare bodice ripper.
More satisfying for the "shopper" is a book box with a normal door that swings open and stays that way as you make your selection. While I'm not fond of the design of the mid-century modern ranch house number above right (it looks like it belongs to a house with an Edsel in the drive), it does it's job well.
More charming in this neighborhood of late 19th and early 20th century row houses are the boxes that play with their host's design, like this simple one on Lincoln Park, with a grey and white color scheme borrowed from the home:
|On Lincoln Park|
Right around the corner on Kentucky Avenue is this charmer, with leaded glass panes and a tin roof:
And then there's this wonderful, multi-story construction on 13th Street, nestled in day lilies and zinnias and considerably grander than the home it belongs to -- no offense homeowner:
Maybe for my birthday. Right. The only way that will happen is if My Prince sees that project as a fresh excuse for not cleaning out the garage. Please! Let's not get started again on the garage.