Houston’s Newest and Littlest Library

Inspired by a Kyrie O’Connor column last month decrying the absence of any Little Free Libraries in Houston, Heights resident Mag Franzoni and her husband went ahead and created one themselves. At the grand opening of the tiny custom-built bright-red exchange box perched on a couple of 4x4s in front of the home at 736 Tulane St. earlier this month, Franzoni had it stocked with a carefully pruned collection that included a biography of Ho Chi Minh, John McCain’s Character Is Destiny, Portia de Rossi’s anorexia tell-all, and Max Brooks’s World War Z, on the coming Zombie War. “I loved the idea where people could go and grab a book (and hopefully — if they can – bring a different one in return) and basically making this library into a gift that keeps on giving,” the newly minted front-yard librarian wrote the Heights Kids Group. “I hope some of you will stop by and pick up/bring a book. And if not, maybe you can share it with everyone you know so eventually everyone in Houston knows where to go when they want/need a book to read.”

Photos: Mag Franzoni

17 Comment

  • What a cute idea :)

  • They should totally register the books on http://www.bookcrossing.com/ and follow the books out into the world.

  • Won’t the humidity and heat kill those books?

  • BookCrossing looks cool –
    People who like to handle actual books would probably enjoy this added dimension. Great idea!

  • Fantastic idea. I’d swap books out of this nano-library if I was in the area.

  • In Tel Aviv someone started this at bus stops, installing little shelves in the shelters. It’s doing well there.

  • Great idea… but I’m confused.

    Based on my 20k clicks (yes, really, don’t ask me how I know) on Swamplot over the last few years, I could have sworn that anyone living in a newly built townhouse in the Heights must be an mindless, insipid, yuppie without any sense of right or wrong, human decency, architectural appropriateness, neighborliness, community spirit, or any other redeeming qualities.

    I thought all the smart and sophisticated people lived in bungalows and refused to sell to evil developers.

    I guess I was misled.

  • re: heat and humidity…oh yeah, over time – I’m sure they’re mostly mass-market-type paperbacks (I hope, since they’re made to be manhandled and not made to last).
    I had a lost paperback in my trunk for maybe a year or more and it’s musty but fine for the time being..

  • Bernard – haha! And a tiny little dog and a giant SUV.

  • Good one Bernard! Awesome.

  • Bernard,
    Obviously there can be exceptions to the overwhelmingly correct labels given by the good, moral people who live in small historic bungalows. As a philistine yuppie-bot who lives in a modern 3-story townhome myself, I can attest to being all those things that you listed and worse. That is, I am that way only when I am removed from my docking station and switched to the ‘On’ position. The rest of the time I am a much more tolerable human being.

  • I can see it now. The deed restriction/city inspector Nazis declaring the little red box as some kind of building/easement violation. Book lending without a permit.

  • Bernard +1

  • Bubba,

    An increase in the assessed valuation of the property is in the works. (Along with the citation for not having secured a COH building permit).

  • Bubba/BarksInTheCounty: I love you guys.

  • Get a room! Maybe a free little red room?

  • @Bernard: 1. Always consider the source(s).
    2. Always remember the nature of any stereotype.