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What Would Jane Read? (Episode 4: LFL #5837, Newark, Delaware)

What Would Jane Austen Read?
This is an occasional feature that describes the travels of my Jane Austen action figure, who is on a mission to visit as many LFLs as possible and select a book from each one.



I had to travel north this weekend, so I invited Jane to come along. It was her first visit to Little Free Libraries outside of the state of Virginia, and we managed to reach three of them. Today I'm posting photos from an LFL in Newark, Delaware, Little Free Library #5837. (I'll save the other two for future posts.)

LFL #5827 is an unusual one. It's in a well-maintained suburb not too far off of I-95. The library's surroundings are charming; it sits near a pretty, flowered mailbox with a bright blue post. Flowers grow nearby, and a rustic old door with carved panels -- kind of a shabby chic look -- stands nearby.


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The LFL itself was put together simply. (In the picture above, it's the grayish box behind the mailbox, with blue trim and with blue tape covering the vent holes.) It just goes to show: you don't have to spend a lot of money to install a Little Free Library. This one is made of metal; the box looks like it must have once been the case of a PC, with a plexiglass door that has been hinged to the top. Inside are two blue plastic boxes, like the ones you often see set on posts near mailboxes, the kind used for newspaper delivery. When we stopped by yesterday, only one of the blue boxes contained books, mostly children's books. The other was empty.

Unfortunately, Jane and I brought only one book for sharing. Someday I'd like to go back and fill that second box. Because there were so few books, Jane decided not to remove one to take home, but instead just to decide which book she might want to read in the future.
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So, What Would Jane Read?

The LFL contained only four books when we were there. One was a murder mystery, The Saint Vs. Scotland Yard, which looked much too racy for Jane's 18th-19th century sensibilities. The "Goosebumps" book rather horrified her, and she had little context for appreciating a children's book about baseball.

That leaves The Boxcar Children's Yellow House Mystery, by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Jane looked this one over, and she was intrigued by the idea of orphaned children (Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny) setting up housekeeping in a boxcar -- after I explained to her what a boxcar is. But this book is number three in the Boxcar Children series, and by this time they are no longer living in the boxcar. They have been taken in by their kindly grandfather, who has also installed the kids' boxcar in the backyard, so they can play in it.


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