Twin Citians embrace their love for books with free book exchanges set up in neighborhoods around the metro

Images by Claire Noack

By Claire Noack

Lawns and reading: these are a couple of the Twin Cities' favorite things. Minnesotans take great pride in the appearance of their lawns and gardens, putting in hours upon hours of yard work to combat any damage that was done in the winter. And after a long day of fighting against Mother Nature, Twin Citians can be found indulging in another favorite pastime, curling up with a good book. Our love of words is evident in the numerous independent bookstores around the Twin Cities, a top-notch library system, and accolades for both Minneapolis and St. Paul ranking in the top ten most literate cities in America (No. 3 and No. 9 respectively) in the 2016 Central Connecticut State University study. So, combining our two loves with the Little Free Library project was a no-brainer. The neighborhood book exchange makes picking out your next book fun and gets people reading all year round.

Ever since Little Free Library started in 2012 in nearby Hudson, Wis., the Twin Cities have been an active supporter of the nonprofit. Dozens of brightly-colored libraries can be found in every neighborhood in the metro area, not to mention the surrounding suburbs and greater state of Minnesota. Their motto “take a book, leave a book” sparks community involvement and ensures a surprise hiding behind the doors of each Little Free Library. Twin Citians are so passionate about Little Free Library's mission of providing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds, that we hosted the 2016 Little Free Library Festival in Minnehaha Park, where thousands gathered for a fun-filled day of library building, storytelling, performances, poetry readings and more.

Not only do these mailbox-sized houses store a treasure trove of free books for passersby to discover, they also inspire lifelong readers and add some flair to the front yard. Check out our slideshow of the unique Little Free Libraries that can be found in neighborhoods around the Twin Cities.


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