How often have we wished for a good book to read while on vacation?
Nevis has solved that dilemma with its network of eight little libraries scattered about the island.
Each library resembles a large birdhouse and is filled with a supply of free books to encourage visitors and residents "to take a book and share a book," according to Sugar Mill Real Estate owner Suzanne Gordon who, along with several others, sponsors the Little Free Library, a global nonprofit organization whose aim is to inspire a love of reading by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.
Nevis is the third Caribbean country to be part of Little Free Library, an initiative welcomed by Jadine Yarde, CEO of the Nevis Tourism Authority.
"This presents a wonderful opportunity to share our local literature with our visitors to enhance their understanding of our Caribbean culture," she said.
The libraries are located where people often pass by or stop: Nevis Car Rental at Cocky's Bar, Hillcrest Grocery & Bar in Fountain, H&M Seafood Bar in Cotton Ground, Riviere House in Charlestown, Alvena gas station in Gingerland, Rose Stop & Shop in Jessups, D's Cellar in Chicken Stone and Cliffdwellers.
All are registered and carry plaques that they are part of the international association of libraries.
Currently there are 100,000 libraries registered in 100 countries around the globe.
Residents are encouraged to take books home to relatives who might be housebound, and to donate books to keep the little libraries supplied.
"This is a great way to find interesting books to read and sometimes discover something you never thought you would enjoy. It's a way to get hundreds of good books circulating around the island to make reading easier," Gordon said.
She got the idea for the libraries after she read the obituary of Little Free Library founder Todd Bol (his first tiny library, a little red schoolhouse, was built in tribute to his mother). After traveling to Florida, London and New Hampshire, Gordon noticed these little libraries and thought that they would be terrific on Nevis.
Nevis is listed on the organization's world map at www.littlefreelibrary.org.