Colorado readers can simultaneously support local authors and their Little Free Libraries this weekend.
The Colorado Authors’ League will end its first Book Bomb Week Sunday, an effort which saw published Colorado authors donate copies of their books to Little Free Libraries in their hometowns.
The concept was pitched by the league’s co-president, Lisa Reinicke, who saw the opportunity to help communities, readers and authors through a partnership with worldwide nonprofit Little Free Libraries, she said.
“I wanted to get Colorado authors involved in their communities and get their books into the Little Free Libraries. Plus, people are reading more … so the goal is, if you enjoy the book, tell a friend about the book or consider purchasing it,” said Reinicke, who lives in Highlands Ranch.
Thirty members of the authors group are participating.
“Anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that more people are visiting Little Free Libraries than ever before. … One of the things that’s always great is having people share their books and this presented the opportunity to do something in the world of COVID-19 that allows people to be engaged and supportive,” Little Free Library Executive Director Greig Metzger said.
Founded 11 years ago, the Little Free Library network was born when Todd Bol built a library out of an old birdhouse in honor of his mother, an educator. Placing it in his front yard, the library was for communal use. Today, there are Little Free Libraries in all 50 U.S. states and in 108 countries. The nonprofit celebrated the completion of its 100,000th Little Free Library in Houston in March.
An interactive map on the Little Free Library website shows hundreds of Little Free Libraries in Colorado, and those are just the libraries their stewards have chosen to share publicly.
“Right now physical book sales aren’t exactly at their peak, so this helps authors get exposure and readers get a free book,” said Morrison-based author Harper McDavid, who placed a copy of her award-winning debut novel, “Zapata,” in the Little Free Library in Morrison.
Describing the novel as equal parts thriller and romance, “Zapata” is loosely based on a project McDavid worked on in south Texas and tells the story of engineer Avery McAndrews, who is kidnapped by the son of a cartel boss. His cruelty toward Avery is what leads the cartel’s attorney Alejandro DeLeon to save her.
“This is such a great idea and a fun way to give back to my local community,” McDavid said, who said she plans to continue donating her books even after Book Bomb Week ends.
Reinicke, the author of “Football Flyboy,” a memoir about her father, four published children’s picture books and 35 children’s stories appearing on local TV shows and at elementary schools and bookstores, also participated in Book Bomb Week, donating copies of her works to Little Free Libraries throughout Kansas and in Steamboat Springs and Denver in Colorado.
Reinicke said she’s hoping to see Book Bomb Week happen again in the future. “There are so many Little Free Libraries, and many authors in the Colorado Authors’ League publish a new book every year. Wouldn’t it be great to get their new books out there next year?”
Find a Little Free Library near you using the nonprofit’s interactive map at littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap. For information on the Colorado Authors’ League, including how to join, visit coloradoauthors.org.