9hBgtOBAdSLnJ2oNqkZZuCG9JzNsiFf88IZYEVBf1BwBy Han Vance

It’s a bit harder to enjoy all the activity Atlanta has to offer when the sun sets daily at 5:30 p.m. and the temperature dips. I try to spend much of my time during the relatively short Southern winter season inside sipping a warm cup of coffee, reading and writing, but I still take to the city streets enough to feel engaged.

Strolling from the Candler Park MARTA station toward Little Five Points for an afternoon diversion, I came across a Little Free Library on Candler Street.  “Take A Book/Return A Book” read the sign above what appeared to be a miniature one-room schoolhouse.

I grabbed a book of letters the New York poet Ted Berrigan wrote to his newlywed wife, Sandy, while she was in an institution, sent there by her parents for being crazy enough to marry him. I vowed to read it and return it, with some other good books I will donate for the neighbors to read.

Todd Bol of Wisconsin created the first Little Free Library in Wisconsin in 2009, and it has quickly grown into an international organization. I discovered that the freestanding libraries have popped all over neighborhoods in Intown. It’s a great way to promote reading and the honor system.

For more general information on Little Free Libraries and to find one near you or to order one for your block, visit littlefreelibrary.org.

Hidden Gems is a recurring series by culture writer Han Vance, a regular contributor to Atlanta INtown and other local and national publications. Visit him at hanvance.com.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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