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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

November 23, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Mini-libraries have curb appeal

Sketched Nov. 14 and 15, 2012

The home of Josh and Cameron Larios in the Lake City neighborhood has unique curb appeal. A recycled newspaper box that they customized and placed by the sidewalk invites passers-by to “Take a book. Return a book.”

The “Little Free Library” is one of nearly 50 that have popped up around Seattle, after a movement that started in 2009 in Wisconsin.

Some of the little libraries are as charming as can be. In the Mount Baker neighborhood, Margaret Opalka’s library is topped by an old sled and a bright yellow croquet ball. In Mountlake Terrace, Vernon and Jen Winters painted their library with beautiful Native American motifs.

Josh and Cameron Larios joined the movement thinking it’d be a good way to get rid of old books, but their little library has come to mean much more. It has brought out a do-it-yourself mentality and spirit of sharing, said Josh Larios. “I feel like I’m more connected to the community.”


Vernon Winters, Mountlake Terrace


Margaret Opalka’s little library in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle.

What has drawn your attention around Seattle lately? Send me your suggestions of interesting places and people to sketch via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!

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