A few weeks ago, this appeared outside Cafe Buunni, a great coffee shop in Washington Heights (my neighborhood).
The idea is incredibly simple, but brilliant: It’s a bookcase for the whole neighborhood. People can take or leave books as they please.
I love everything about that bookcase.
It fosters a sense of community—I like the idea of neighbors sharing books. It’s a money-saver—I’m all about supporting authors, but it’s a treat to get books for free! But perhaps the thing I love most about the bookcase is that it gives me a place to pass along books I no longer want or can fit in my apartment.
I think it’s fair to say that most New Yorkers are short on space—apartments in the city are generally small, even in pre-war buildings in more affordable neighborhoods, like my own. As a result, we’re always purging in an effort to maximize our spaces.
I’m a strong believer in the sharing economy, and really appreciate having places to donate or drop off items so they’re not going to waste. My building, for example, has a clothing and textile bin that benefits a local charity. I can’t count the number of times I’ve dropped in clothing or shoes. And that’s why I welcome that communal bookcase to my ‘hood. It’s a great addition, and it’s amazing more neighborhoods don’t have something similar.
Is there anything in your building or area that encourages sharing among neighbors? I’m curious and would love to know.