Little Free Library: Sin Bins


Little Free Libraries was blowing up on twitter the other morning. Like any good blogger, I followed the trend, albeit hesitantly. I thought to myself, Oh good gahwd, what are the lefties up to? Why do you believe it’s the lefties and aren’t you a lefty, what would your friends say? Well, because only lefties could find the faults with and complain about Little Free Libraries. It’s probably that they are only in “well off” neighborhoods or have uncurated collections. And yes, I am on the left side of things, but I’m not a silly goose and I think my friends would agree. Even the more conservative ones. They may think I’m destined for hell, but at least I’m not a silly goose.

It turns out I was right, about everything. I clicked Little Free Libraries and was mystically whisked away to a land* of buzzkills. “They are only in affluent neighborhoods where there is no shortage of books,” and “they are just random piles of books,” some people with presumably nasally voices and a penchant for 1950’s British Comedy said. There were others that basically said the same thing. Then, I found patient zero. A blog post from a librarian in cahoots with another librarian.

They had more arguments that seemed to get stuck on the words, “free” and “library.” That a Little Free Library isn’t “free” and costs at least $130, if not just south of $1000 – for the true narcissistic philanthropist – to build. In fact, the author of the post said she spent $600 on her own Little Free Library, so she could conduct her study. As for “library,” well, libraries offer many services and have more books. Which is actually where the word free should come into play, but it was well spent on the dollar amount of the construction price. Perhaps if we called Little Free Libraries, Little Non-Taxpayer Funded, Subsidized, or Affiliated with the Government In Any Way and Therefore Non-Curated Pile of Random Books, it would clear up most of the argument. Put them in “less well-to-do” communities and book deserts and we’re done.

I’ve seen the Little Free Libraries near me thrive. Just because it’s in a good neighborhood doesn’t mean people have money to buy books or have the energy and schedules that facilitate trips to the two libraries that are within three kilometers. People of the community rally and continually trade books back and forth. One’s used Dan Brown is another’s Margaret Atwood.

Let’s take a page from The Politicians Hand Book for Arguing Good: A Table Flippers Guide to Appearing to Win Any Argument By Having The Whoops and Chortles of Your Lemming Followers Drown Out Your Opponent – I picked it up at my local Little Free Library. “If one isn’t in favor of Little Free Libraries, then that person wants people to simply throw away old, unwanted books. Mountains of outdated and ancient** texts will appear at landfills. As these books break down, the pulp and ink will strangle sea turtles. (Allows for gasping and bleats of fear.) And if they don’t want you to throw them away, I don’t know, maybe they want you to burn them, like Nazi’s. (Give’s time for cheering to subside.)”




**From the eighties.

Taxes: Deficits & Surpluses

If you have been reading my posts for awhile, you will probably have been able to assume or have read that I lean a little to the left. Although, I like to keep things a bit more on the moderate side and am I big fan of compromise. Both sides shaking hands and working together in jolly cooperation.

Here is a stunner. I don’t mind being taxed. Do I love being taxed, no. However, I live in a capitalist country. I like buying shit and getting a good deal on it. Why wouldn’t I want my government to do the same. Sometimes, they can get a better deal on things than we could. Sometimes they don’t. The main thing here is that they are buying shit. A lot of the time it is for the good of society: roads, health care, education. Sometimes it is for them: babes, beach bungalows, and blow.

Yes, I do have a big issue when our tax dollars are used for some politician’s slush fund. Yes, I don’t like it when money seems to be wasted. Yes, I don’t enjoy when the government buys things that I wouldn’t spend my money on. You know what? Without getting into another conversation here, that is what voting is for. Vote for the people who want to spend your money the way you want it spent.

I don’t want my government to run a surplus. That means that they have taken my money and have not spent it. They have cut programs and left guns on a shelf. I want the government to make it rain. Food for kids, needles for addicts, cheaper transit for everyone. Give it to me!

At the same time deficits are bad and I don’t want them to run one. Sure, maybe one could be ran for a year or so, but that is it. I am not running up my credit cards. Why would I want my government to do that?

I am not really sure why taxes are held in such a bad light. Yes, it sucks having money taken away from you. But driving down a nice road is good, right? Having an ambulance haul you to the hospital is good, right? Having the coast guard, sewers systems, and national parks, while different things, are good to have. Right?

So in closing, deficits are bad and surpluses are bad. Get money, spend money, and keep that closing number at zero. I know there are people that are all “I can spend money better!” Sure you can buddy. The same way you can fix that sports teams performance the day after the game from your couch.