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What Would Jane Read? Episode 11: LFL #5009, Kings Mountain, NC

What Would Jane Read?

It's been way too long since I've posted a Jane Austen Little Free Library visit, but that doesn't mean that Action Figure Jane Austen has been idle! Traveling home through the Carolinas in September, Jane and I made a stop a little west of Charlotte, to seek out a special Little Free Library in the town of Kings Mountain, NC. LFL Number 5009 wasn't easy to find; Kings Mountain isn't exactly on the regular tourist trail, and my GPS kept getting confused. But Jane (despite being mystified by GPW technology) is persistent, and we finally did find the place, near the railroad tracks.

Have you ever seen a Little Free Library shaped like a caboose? This cute Little Free Library has a train theme, in keeping with the fact that it's located alongside an old railway depot converted into an arts center! Notice it even has cunning little wheels.

I was sorry to see that the little caboose was not exactly overflowing with books; offerings were a little sparse. I added a few, of course, but I didn't have enough on hand to fill it up the way I would have liked to. The next time I'm near Kings Mountain, I will try to remedy that.

Jane was reluctant to take a book; she wanted to make sure plenty of reading material was available for the patrons of the Kings Mountain Art Center. But if she had taken a book, it would have been this one (pictured below) by Georgette Heyer, intriguingly titled, Why Shoot a Butler?

The setting is a bit more modern than Jane's books (Heyer's book first came out in 1933), but Jane's characters would feel right at home in this mystery involving a butler's murder, an English country manor, a bold young lady, and a young barrister intent on learning the truth. In fact, one reviewer said that "the unlikely courtship of Frank Amberley and the headstrong Shirley Brown, full of misunderstandings and insults, is probably meant to be reminiscent of the Darcy and Bennet romance of Pride and Prejudice."

Heyer is best remembered for her Regency romances, and is pretty much considered the originator of the genre, though of course she was inspired by Jane Herself. So it's only fitting that Action Figure Jane would choose one of Heyer's novels.

The Kings Mountain Art Center is home to the Southern Arts Society, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the arts, training artists, and exposing the community to their work. Books and art being natural allies, the art center makes a terrific home to this Little Free Library, which was founded by King Mountain's own Thursday Afternoon Book Club, a reading group that is more than 100 years old! Jane is impressed.

The day that Jane and I drove through Kings Mountain was drizzly and unseasonably cool. And the art center was closed that day, so nobody was around. In fact, all of Kings Mountain seemed especially quiet that Monday morning; maybe all the residents were up late the night before, catching up on their reading. For, as Jane once said, “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Here are some more photos of LFL #5009. You'll notice two adorable little white bookcases against the side of the building, behind the book caboose. I wonder if the LFL has more book offerings inside the art center, and pulls them out onto the bookcases when the place is open, to supplement the Little Free Library collection.

As for Action Figure Jane and me, we stayed just long enough to visit the Little Free Library, take a few pictures, and leave a few books. Then we examined an ancient, full-size caboose parked next door, got back in the Prius, and headed toward the next Little Free Library along our route home.


#10 Spartanburg, SC
#9 Alexandria, VA
#8 Simpsonville, SC
#7 Alexandria, VA
#6 Alexandria, VA
#5 Kannapolis, NC
#4 Newark, DE
#3 Arlington, VA
#2 Alexandria, VA
#1 Alexandria, VA (my own LFL)