Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sleeping Stranger Subway Picture On Q Train Defines Empathy And Is A Lesson In Being Good


This man has it.

When Isaac Theil let a sleepy stranger take a little catnap on his shoulder, it was because “I simply remembered the times my own head would bop on someone’s shoulder because I was so tired after a long day,” he recounted to Tova Ross of Tablet Magazine.

Another subway rider was so struck by Theil’s nonchalant empathy that he snapped a picture and put it on Reddit, from which it was then posted to Facebook by Charidy.

Redditor Braffination wrote, “Heading home on the Q train yesterday when this young black guy nods off on the shoulder of a Jewish man. The man doesn’t move a muscle, just lets him stay there. After a minute, I asked the man if he wanted me to wake the kid up, but he shook his head and responded, ‘He must have had a long day, let him sleep. We’ve all been there, right?'”

Theil himself has been completely surprised at the attention he’s received for his small act of kindness, as the photo has been shared over 20,000 times on Facebook.

Continue reading

Little Free Library: ‘Take a book, leave a book’ movement catching on

‘Take a book, leave a book’ movement catching on
Personalized stands called Little Free Libraries are dotting lawns, parks, gardens, even coffee shops across nation and globe
November 04, 2013|By Joan Cary | Special to the Tribune

There’s only one thing that comes between the grade school kids hopping off the afternoon bus near Eve Pulver-Johnson’s Aurora house and their after-school snacks — the Little Free Library on her family’s front lawn.

The children like to take an extra minute near the stop to peek inside the free-standing blue and white box full of books, some of them grabbing a book to go. Who knows? Maybe somebody put one of Mo Willems’ popular children’s stories in there.

“The kids are excited about it,” said Pulver-Johnson, who believes her Little Free Library along Sumac Drive is the first in Aurora. “It’s really fun to see them digging through and looking for something particular to their interest.”

Little Free Libraries are handcrafted structures full of books for children and adults, a free-books movement that has spread not only around Illinois but onto lawns around the world. They are designed and decorated to the owner’s — or steward’s — taste, and stand on lawns, in parks and gardens, even in coffee shops where passers-by of all ages can “take a book, leave a book.” Generally they hold 20 to 100 books.

Little Free Libraries originated in Wisconsin in 2009, and in four years have become as much about building a sense of community as they are about encouraging people to read, said co-founder Rick Brooks, of Madison. Brooks and co-founder Todd Bol, of Hudson, Wis., expect to have at least 15,000 Little Free Libraries in 55 countries by year’s end.

Continue reading