On my latest plotting pilgrimage, I discover plot in a Little Free Library. How can I resist free books to read and a hastle-free return? An amazing 36,000 little free libraries populate the world. My discovery of this little treasure changes everything I have done in the past.
Plot resources exist in many places. My first name basis with the librarians and circulation desk clerks at my public library hints to how often I go there. All my childhood years in Bible-belt Sunday School classes lend to parables and paradigms for short stories. Small bookstores and writer-friendly Barnes and Noble win my dollar votes. Digital journals and Twitter deliver content at the swipe of a few keys.
Plot in a Box
A Little Free Library, however, is open after hours and on holidays. I never pay shipping or late fees. I never waste gasoline or get stressed about parking. The library is art—a four-sided painted montage inside and out. My heart beats a little faster at the sight of the box. Yes, there is the thrill of the hunt aspect, but I’m usually walking or jogging to the library—getting genuine exercise. I can’t drive past without yielding to a pressing curiosity to stop and check what’s inside. It is a sad day when my passengers decline my invitation to stop and get a book.
My hand trembles as I slide the latch open. Glimpses of good books show through the glass. Anticipation is key here. Inside, I find a book, Twisted, The Collected Stories of Jeffrey Deaver. It’s short stories with plot twists—perfect. The author writes, “Though I love to make evil appear to be good (and vice versa) and to dangle the potential for disaster before my readers, nonetheless, in the end, good is good and bad is bad, and good more or less prevails.” Deaver experiments with short stories. “Short stories are like a sniper’s bullet. Fast and shocking. I can make good bad and bad badder and, most fun of all, really good really bad.” I find plotting gold in this Little Free Library and discover more Little Free Libraries are within walking distance. Should we go?