Friday, July 25 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:23:15 GMT
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A new trend catching on in the Midstate is promoting literacy one book at a time. It's a unique way to make books available to anyone, and you don't even have to go to a brick-and-mortar library.
It's called a Little Free Library, and the concept is very simple, but effective.
Just a few short steps from the Central Christian Church in Murfreesboro, you'll find one of the outposts, none of which hold more than about 20 books.
"Anyone could take a book that walked by. They can put another book back in if they like to, but they don't have to. It's just a book exchange, a free library," said the Rev. Steve Odom at Central Christian Church.
Odom got the idea after seeing a Little Free Library set outside a house on Church Street in Murfreesboro.
"I've had church folks, I've asked them for their extra books, their old books, books they don't want anymore," Odom said.
The idea has spread like wildfire around the world, as Little Free Libraries can be found by school bus stops where children can peruse a book while waiting for their bus, in neighborhoods in front of homes or by a business for customers to use.
It doesn't take much time or effort to get one started, and getting a book is as easy as walking up to one of the Little Free Libraries.
"You don't have to bring it back. You don't check it out. You just take it and give it to someone else," Odom said.
But sharing is part of the idea behind the Little Free Library.
"We encourage people, if they have a book they want to share with someone else in the neighborhood, they can put a book in of their own. But they don't have to," Odom said.
And anyone who starts up a Little Free Library is given a number of stickers by the national organization to put on the books and remind people that the book they're taking is truly free.
"It says, 'Always a gift, never for sale,'" Odom said.