ONALASKA, WI (WXOW)— Hundreds of people, unknowingly, pass the Little Free Library outside of Culver's in Onalaska every day.
The idea is simple, take a book, return a book.
"I know personally how much books cost and they're very expensive," Emily Bowe, Owner Culver's Little Free Library said.
Books on the little shelf are free.
"If someone can find a title they're interested in and they like it's really nice they don't have to purchase the book and they can return it when they're done," Bowe said.
Bowe got the idea for the library when she was visiting her family in Hudson.
"My dad mentioned there was this library we had to check out that was just a few blocks away," Bowe said.
That library was the first one Todd Bol put up in his yard as a memorial to mom.
His business partner Rick Brooks said Bol is not even sure where the idea came from.
"His mom was such a fan of reading and books he wanted to remember her that way," Brooks said.
Over the last four years, that one library has turned into over 9,000 around the world.
"We hoped it would," Brooks said. "We worked very hard to keep up with the demand. It does amaze us almost every day the pictures we get around the world and from across the United States."
Even four different locations in the La Crosse area
You can see them all online on an interactive map.
"We find, people meet people they've never met before, they're reading more, and they're sharing names, stories and conversations with neighbors," Brooks said.
Bowe has even noticed her staff reading more.
"I see them before or after their shifts running out here checking the books or bringing books back that they borrowed," she said.
Monday afternoon there were 15 different books to choose from inside Culver's Little Free Library.
But it's always changing, books just appear and Bowe said the next week they're gone.
Steffani Nolte will have more on Tuesday's Live at Five on the Little Free Library and how some people are benefitting from them without even reading a book.
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