Donated books pour into the Little Free Library on a continual basis. Mostly, donated books appear as if by magic in the Little Free Library itself, placed there by people simply giving and taking books as they please, which is exactly how this whole thing is designed to work. Sometimes I come home to find the Little Free Library stuffed to bursting point, with books packed tightly into it, left there by someone with a lot of books to give. I gently pull some books out, and put them in storage until needed. If the Little Free Library has too many books inside, there’s never any space for other people to donate more, and it makes it very difficult to browse through what is in there. If people have a lot of books to donate, they’ll usually leave a bag or a box full by our front door, although sometimes I have found donated books left on the bench next to the Little Free Library, and even, on one occasion, a bag full of books sitting on the Little Free Library’s roof, in the rain!
I must admit that I do enjoy sorting through the bags and boxed of donated books, because you never know what you will find. I generally sort them into two piles: books that will definitely be going into the Little Free Library as soon as there’s space for them, and books that will go into storage for now. I later sort out the storage pile again, and split it into two groups: books to keep in storage, and books that I will not keep. I have learned that it is better to be ruthless at this stage, otherwise the storage area will quickly become too full, and there is no point holding onto too many books that will, in all probability, just sit there for months on end. On the whole, we receive high quality book donations, and I am very thankful for that, but there will always be some books that I will not be able to keep, for example city guide books that are twenty years old, or noisy children’s books that no longer make any noises! The books that I decide not to keep either go into the recycling (if they are too old, too worn out, or just in poor condition) or I will donated them to a local charity shop or thrift store if I think that someone might buy them.
I am very lucky that my community continues to be very supportive of the Little Free Library, and as a result, we are never short of books.