Little Free Library in a 110-Year-Old Tree Stump – Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - Atlas Obscura

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Little Free Library in a 110-Year-Old Tree Stump

A black cottonwood gets a second life as a home for books. 

There used to be a huge dying black cottonwood tree in Sharalee Armitage Howard’s front yard in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but now there’s a 10-foot stump that she’s made into a cozy Little Free Library. 

Climb stone steps to the entrance and open the door, made from a repurposed vintage window that swings on Middle Earth-worthy hinges. A lantern-style lamp hangs just under the shingled roof, and there are lights inside the library, too. Like other Little Free Libraries, Howard’s operates under the “take a book, share a book,” concept. 

Howard hollowed out the tree trunk and made a wooden box to house a collection of books for all ages. “Some people think it’s just for kids, but I think adults are just as excited to stumble across a little free library and find something that they want to read. It lets you be a kid,” she says.

Howard’s library includes lots of personal touches including molding and paint to match her house and tiny wooden book decorations (with titles chosen by her husband and four children). 

The glowing tree library went viral after Howard shared a picture of the project on Facebook in December 2018, prompting shares and news stories from all over the world and a steady stream of visitors. 

Know Before You Go

Visitors are welcome to use the Little Free Library at any time.

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