Pop Up Library – A Quirky Symbol of Charleston’s Sense of Community and Generosity

On State Street, right in the heart of the French Quarter of downtown Charleston, lies a bit of a unique oddity.  To the naked eye, it may appear to some as an over-sized bird house.  To others, a mailbox whose primary resident is a librarian.  Both perceptions are rational but incorrect.  Right in the heart of the peninsula is a free pop up Library.

This pink community book exchange is designed to give and take books as you please, relying heavily on the generosity of others.

How does this work?  Great question.

  • You open the door and look at the current collection of books.  If you see one you like, you take it.  You are welcome to return it upon completion or keep it.
  • If you have a book or collection of books that you have enjoyed or been moved by and want to share it with others, you drop them off inside the one room library standing eye level high above a sturdy wooden pole in the ground.

There you have it.  Give a book, take a book.  Can you think of anything that symbolizes the kindness and generosity of Charleston like this?

Last evening we contributed eleven books including a best seller, book of questions, poetry collections, spiritual affirmations and Dr. Suess.  Now that is an eclectic mix.  There is a sense of fulfillment you have when you make a donation like this.  There is no tax deductible receipt or person to give you a smile and a thank you.  It is a true act of unrecognized kindness.

What makes this concept so fascinating is that you never know who will take your book or why.  Often times, it will never make it back, but will continue on a journey to enrich many other lives.

With this pop up library, you combine generosity, education, community and even share a little bit of yourself to a future stranger.

In the truest sense of Pay it Forward, we invite you, next time you are on the peninsula to bring a book or two and help keep this project thriving.

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