A Walk to the ‘Little Library’

Ruth Altendorf is a regular contributor to the Agassiz Harrison Observer.

By Ruth Altendorf

It was one of the first days in March when Ruthy and I felt the desire to go for a walk.

Sunny and calm, only some drops on the trees and shrubs reminded us that just the day before it had been raining.

We were still debating to go or not when my daughter, Yvonne, came to tell us that she intended to bring some books to the “Little Library”.

The “Little Library” in Harrison Hot Springs?

Eager to find out what this was all about, we decided to come along for the walk.

Only a few metres up our road we crossed the Miama River via “my bridge.”

Ruthy, of course, still thinks that it was a severe oversight not to call it, “Ruth and Ruthy’s Bridge” but I do not think that there is anything that can be done about it now.

On the other side we turned left onto the Miama River Drive and, after a short stretch, right and onto the intersection of Balsam and Clover Drive and there it was.

A waterproofed cupboard representing the “Little Library” and a bench beside it

Needless to say that Ruthy and I were very thankful to be able to sit down and rest while Yvonne delivered her books and browsed through the ones that were there.

“This is not a new idea,” she said. “It actually is a well established one which has taken hold all over Canada as well as in some other countries.”

And now we have it here, too. There is no money involved to start a “Little Library” on one’s own place except to obtain a business license and get the “OK” from—in our case—Village Council.

Add some wood and paint and workmanship and you’re to go!

Some people might hitch on the idea in a smaller way—our neighbours, for instance, placed a basket near the entrance to their house for visitors to exchange magazines etc. with no obligations at all.

We, however, decided to first check if there are any books in our house that could be brought to this “Little Library.”

We walked home via the Miama Wetland Trail and over the bridge again, happy and hopeful about the state of the world.

“Books and, Book Places” be it libraries, “Book Places” or, as it was in our case, the “Little Library” in Harrison Hot Springs, can do this to us.

A final thought: without the bench next to the “Little Library” Ruthy and I, however, would have had a difficult time to walk back to our house and so would have many other older people.

“One would think,” I said to Ruthy, “that with all the retired people in Harrison Hot Springs—be they residents or guests—a few benches placed here and there throughout residential areas would be most welcome and entice us to walk more, especially in the summer when all the different gardens are on display.”

“Right on”, Ruthy answered, “you should write about it!”

Will she ever get the idea that I am retired?