A devoted, lifelong reader, Terri Stokes now has her own library to spread her love of books.
"I have always had a passion for reading, and my family always read, so I developed a love for reading at an early age," Stokes said.
Her husband, Mark, nailed the perfect Mother's Day gift for her, building a Little Free Library by the couple's mailbox.
The small birdhouse-shaped box, which opened May 31 at 6062 Vaux Road in Beaufort, is the sixth Little Free Library to be established in Beaufort County. The libraries provide children and adults with easy access to free books.
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Little Free Library is a global organization that was founded by a family in Wisconsin in 2009. Six years later, that one small library has evolved into about 25,000 across the globe, expanding the "take a book, return a book" trend, according to the official Little Free Library website. The mission is to promote literacy and the love of reading by providing free book exchanges and to build a sense of community across generations.
When Terri is not working at the couple's business, Bay Street Jewelers in downtown Beaufort, she enjoys reading and promoting the importance of books.
After Mark finished assembling the two-story structure, Terri took over and gave it a nautical theme, painting it light blue and gluing seashells to the roof.
At every Little Free Library, there is no need for a card or membership. If you take a book, just give a book in exchange.
"A lot of people don't have the time to walk into a library or bookstore, but with this, you just have to walk down the street to get a book," Terri said. "That's what is so wonderful about it."
Terri says the little library has already been a popular attraction in her Broad River neighborhood. She challenges other families, groups and clubs to build their own little libraries to help grow the concept locally.
"It has been amazing because our neighbors were really excited about it before it was even finished," she said. "A lot of people stopped by for the grand opening, and I have already received a few visitors."
Opening a little library
Beaufort County's newest Little Free Library opened May 31 at 6062 Vaux Road in Beaufort.
The other Little Free Libraries in the county are as follows:
- 104 N. Hermitage Road, Beaufort
To learn more or to register for your own Little Free Library, go to http://littlefreelibrary.org.