ANDOVER — Elizabeth Covino noticed more and more little libraries were popping up in the area, and she had always wanted one of her own.
Her family granted her wish, giving her one for Christmas. Now she's using it to share her love of books with her Andover neighbors and the larger community.
"I think it might be the best Christmas present since I was a kid," Covino said.
Soon after her daughter and son-in-law unveiled the beach-themed, two-shelf structure to Covino, she started collecting books to fill it with.
Her little library is one of the thousands of community book exchange spots around the country that are part of the Free Little Libraries program. People are encouraged to use the little libraries as places to pick up a book while leaving one for someone else.
"I really like the idea of sharing the joy of reading," Covino said. "Definitely in this time of recycling and reusing, it's a great thing to do."
One of the best surprises Covino has received through her little library is excitement among community members. She recently used various local Facebook groups to let people know about her little library. In return, she received an overwhelming response from people wanting to participate.
Covino said she will continue to visit Andover's Memorial Library often, but it's nice to have an accessible book-trading location in her neighborhood, at the corner of Webster Street and Off Webster Street in Andover.
"If you see a little library and it piques your interest, you can get a book out of it,'' she said. "Hopefully, it will encourage people to read more if they don't already."