More

Love books? These 12 tiny libraries might steal your heart.

Because everyone should have a book to read.

Have you spotted one of these in your neighborhood?

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


It's cute, huh? Sort of like an oversized, adorable mailbox you'd see in a fairytale but with books inside.


They're called Little Free Libraries. And they're popping up everywhere.

Any passerby can drop by, pick up a book that piques their interest, and then return a different book they'd like to share. Take a book, give a book, basically!

The coolest part? Anyone can start one. All you have to do is fill a box with some page-turners in a place that's accessible to the folks you want to share with (i.e., your front yard). The box can be built from scratch or purchased.

Then the magic begins!

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


The nonprofit responsible for these charming boxes — named Little Free Library, naturally — has experienced an explosion of interest around its idea. (Seriously, I know explosion sounds dramatic, but the numbers will back me up here.)

Since Little Free Library got off the ground five years ago, 28,000 boxes have sprung up across the globe!

Little Free Libraries are in every American state, every Canadian province, and in 80 other countries around the world. In fact, Little Free Library told Upworthy there's about 40 million books in circulation through their boxes. (And that's a modest estimation.)

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on

This is a simple idea that has a huge effect on kids.

Books are hard to come by for kids in some neighborhoods around the U.S. — and that's putting it lightly. A study published in 2001 found that while each kid in a middle-income area had an average 13 books at their disposable, as few as one book was available for every 300 kids in low-income neighborhoods.

Those book deserts can play a big role in shaping young people's lives, according to Kristine Huson, director of marketing and communications at Little Free Library.

"[Reading can be] the cornerstone to someone having a successful life," she said. That's why the organization works with schools and police departments that are focused on community engagement to put books into the hands of kids who otherwise may not get the chance to read for fun.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on

But don't fret, grownups: Little Free Libraries are for you, too!

While the nonprofit aims to make books more accessible for children, they are also quick to point out the benefits Little Free Libraries offer everyone. Reading, for example, can significantly reduce stress and ward off cognitive decline as we grow older, Huson said.

It can also act as a neighborhood icebreaker. In fact, one communal box of books can transform an entire neighborhood.

"People have said, 'I put a Little Free Library up, and I met more neighbors in a week than I've met in 10 years of home ownership,'" Huson said.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


If you decide to build or buy your own Little Free Library, make it official through the organization. This way, your library will be added to the organization's world map, which pinpoints exactly where anyone can find a Little Free Library.

You'll also get a sweet charter sign confirming your library is part of the global network on top of other cool perks.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on



Isn't it refreshing to know that even in a world with iPhones and flatscreens, sharing a copy of your favorite book can still make a big difference? *sigh*

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

In the post, she compared the color of her breast milk before and after the vaccination, to show how a baby's reaction to the vaccine has a direct effect on her mother's milk production.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

Believe it or not, there has been a lot of controversy lately about how people cook rice. According to CNN, the "outrage" was a reaction to a clip Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng posted as one of his personas known as Uncle Roger.

It was a hilarious (and harmless) satire about the method chef Hersha Patel used to cook rice on the show BBC Food.


Keep Reading Show less