Our Lilliput Library!

We’ve been moved in a few weeks now.

The boxes are (almost!) gone from the hallway, the kids (all four of them!) are settled in, and things are looking sorted. So on the weekend it was time to put up our own new Lilliput Library.

Here it is, looking lovely at our front gate:

Lilliput Libraries are a community project, started in Dunedin by Ruth Arnison a few years ago. Our own library is No 109, so there are a fair number around Dunedin now! You can view their locations around Dunedin on Google Maps.

The project has a WordPress blog, also run by Ruth. The Libraries also have a Facebook page and an Instagram page, with some lovely images of the various libraries around Dunedin. Take a look. Some of the artwork is absolutely beautiful.

Here are a couple of my favourites:

This is my friend Lhizz Browne’s Lilliput Library.

Lhizz’s Lilliput Library is up and running at 186 Pine Hill, so drop by and grab or add a book to this lovely library.

The library below has Diane Smith as its Guardian. She commisioned artist Jack Pillans to paint her fence to match, and the result is stunning. You can view the Lilliput Library – and the fence artwork – at 71 Newington Avenue:

Diane Smith’s beautiful Lilliput Library and fence artwork by local artist Jack Pillans.

Sharing books is a wonderful thing to do!

Lilliput Libraries are based on the concept of book sharing:

Take a book now…
Return or donate a book later.

Whenever you see a Lilliput Library, feel free to open the door and have a browse. Choose a book you’d like to read. You can keep the book for a while, or forever – Lilliput Libraries are cost-free, and there’s no membership required.

Then, if you are able, share a book back to any Lilliput Library when you can.

It’s that simple!

Becoming a Lilliput Library “Guardian

If you’d like to become a “Guardian” of a Lilliput Library in Dunedin, contact Ruth Arnison via the Lilliput Libraries blog. She’s a lovely lady and is incredibly helpful.

If you’re an artist or have carpentry skills, or can donate paint or woodworking products and you would like to support the Lilliput Libraries project, please also contact Ruth.

If you live in another city and would like to start up your own Lilliput Libraries scheme or build your own independent Lilliput Library, I can’t think of a lovelier way to encourage community and reading!

42 boxes

When we moved to New Zealand from Australia eight years ago, we moved 42 boxes of belongings right along with us.

We packed everything. All sorts of rubbish. So much of it arrived, and when it did, I couldn’t help wondering why I’d packed it in the first place!

    “Unless you’re in control of your stuff, your stuff will control you…”

We were typical. I didn’t think at the time that we had a lot of stuff. Yet sitting there, looking at it all, unpacking it all, finding homes for it – all of that overwhelmed me and made me stop and think.

For a while, anyway.

Then, despite my best efforts, the amount of stuff we owned grew even more.

I didn’t understand that unless you’re firm and in control of your stuff, your stuff will control you. It seemed so easy to let another item just sit and stay. It wasn’t not hurting anyone, after all.

We tell ourselves these stories all the time:

You might have owned it a long time.
Maybe someone you care about gave it to you?
You might need another pair of scissors, or a third spatula one day – who knows?
You might even read those books again that have been sitting gathering dust on the shelf for years.
Your children might want to revisit their old artwork, their old schoolwork, their old baby clothes. You never can tell…

You won’t, you really won’t.
They won’t either.

Life is too short to live in the past, surrounded by clutter and stuff we don’t need.
Life is too short to spend looking after things instead of people.

I’m selling my farm. It’ll be on the market soon. We’ve lived here seven years. The amount of clutter I’ve removed has been formidable.

When I leave, I won’t be bringing 42 boxes with me.
This time, I’d be surprised if I have five.

And you know what? There’s not a single thing I’ve passed on, thrown out, sold, given away, or otherwise gotten rid of that I miss.

Not one.

I just feel free. And its wonderful 🙂

Another lots of books to go. I won't say it's the final pile, but it's close now.

Another lots of books to go. I won’t say it’s the final pile, but it’s close now.