Last month, we joined a reader in lamenting the sudden disappearance of a popular “Little Free Library” near the Fryer Creek Trail on West MacArthur, following the city posting a public notice on its side ordering its removal within 48 hours. Turns out there’s more to the story. An anonymous emailer told the Index-Tribune it was, in fact, he who built the makeshift book exchange. But knowing his HOA wouldn’t allow such a structure on his property, he purposefully placed it on public property expecting the city to haul it away or vandals to deface it. But, reports the mysterious philobiblist, a year later none of those things happened. Instead, he writes, “The little weekend project in our garage started to become a part of our community and a place where we could share books with our neighbors. It manifested into something very personal to many.” He met with City Manager Cathy Capriola and City Engineer Colleen Ferguson to figure out a way to keep the unauthorized structure on city property, but, he says, “bottom line is that the little library needs to find another place to live.”

“I feel so very lucky that we live with such compassionate neighbors, but I want to add that the leaders in our local government are making the hard decisions with everyone’s best interests first,” added the unidentified bibliosoph. “What a wonderful place we live in, where our local government makes a little wood box a priority.” We echo the sentiment, but will add one question: Does anyone want to host a Little Free Library?

Last week we received an email from VLES GO-Bag, offering a friendly reminder that the wildfire season really started last April with the Jayne fire and, with fire season upon us already, our “audience is hopefully getting prepared.” And, according to VLES designs, no “modern family” is really prepared for the next disaster without the GO-Bag, for when flames are licking at your doorstep and there’s simply no time to pack. The GO-Bag is a backpack fully stocked with potable water-treatment tabs, emergency water packets, a liter water bottle, a tool kid, flashlight, rope, matches, Sharpie, rain poncho, bandages, alcohol wipes, tweezers, soap, floss, toothbrush, earplugs and more! “Everyone in your household should have one,” one product endorsement reads on their website. Which would be great – if the GO-Bags weren’t a whopping $350 each. (For our family that would mean $1,750 worth of GO-Bag.) Or, you could simply take a backpack and stuff it with all 35 items you purchased yourself at the store, emergency-kitting the whole family for about $175. It seems you can put a price on safety.

Jason Walsh