Steve Axon saw his first little library when he and his wife, Helen Winegarner, visited their son in Spokane.
“In his neighborhood alone there was like four dozen of these little boxes with books in them,” said Axon.
As an avid fan of books, he wanted to see the same thing in Challis. He gathered up some scrap wood and created his own little library outside of a house he and his wife own on 10th Street.
Axon and Winegarner said “there are no rules or regulations” for the library. Anyone is allowed to take or leave whatever books they want. The couple consistently rotate books from their own collection into the box whenever they see it needs refilling.
“We’re big readers and we wanted to share what we’re reading,” said Axon.
Little libraries are becoming more commonplace because of Little Free Libraries, an organization that provides plans for boxes to be built and erected all over the country. The Little Free Libraries website has a map where registered boxes can be found. Axon and Winegarner chose not to affiliate with that organization. Instead, Axon decided to build the box on his own and see what happens.
“We thought it would be a fun way to reach out to the community,” said Winegarner.
Winegarner said the genres they see the most in their library are romance and mysteries. They said they have no problem with these genres, but would like to see more variety. They try to cater to everyone’s favorites, which is why they find it encouraging to see people leaving and taking different books.
“I’ve never actually seen someone take a book out in the several years we’ve had it set up,” said Axon. “But every time we check it a book is taken out or new one is put in, so that’s encouraging.”