Kid Starts Free Book Library, Cops Tell Him to Shut It Down
byKaitlin StanfordJun 20, 2014
Nine-year-old Spencer Collins is probably every parent's dream kid. Not only does the sweet-natured third grader absolutely love to read — and would rather get lost in the pages of a book than be glued to his Xbox — but he's got a heart of gold.
Recently, with help from his mom, Spencer decided to share his love of reading with others, by setting up a super adorable roadside stand offering free books to anyone who happened by his Leawood, Kan., home. Its slogan? "Take a book, leave a book." (Pretty clever!)
Unfortunately, the local government wasn't as big a fan of Spencer's little book drop as we are.
"When we got home from vacation, there was a letter from the city of Leawood saying that it was in code violation and it needed to be down by the 19th or we would receive a citation," Spencer's mother, Sarah Collins, told KMBC News.
The reasoning? Leawood bans residents from putting up any building that isn't a part of someone's home, and the book drop was deemed an "accessory building."
We're not sure about you, but this doesn't exactly appear to be a building to us:
The Collins family has since moved Spencer's library into the garage, but their nine-year-old isn't about to let this go without a fight. He plans to take things to City Hall to argue his case. (OK, well maybe not argue, but at least talk it out.)
"I would tell them why it's good for the community and why they should drop the law," the level-headed nine-year-old said. "I just want to talk to them about how good it is."
As for the local government, though, they say they had no choice but to send the warning letter, after they received not just one, but two complaints about the little boy's roadside library.
"We empathize with them, but we still have to follow the rules," said Richard Coleman of the City of Leawood. "We have to treat everyone the same. So we can't say if somebody files a complaint but we like the little libraries — we think they're cute — so we ignore it. We can't do that."
In the meantime, Spencer is trying to brainstorm ways to keep his little library and still remain in compliance with the law. "I thought, why not get a rope and attach it to our house and the library?" he said, adorably.
As he explained to KMBC, reading brings the best kind of adventure and escapism, and Spencer just wants everyone to experience that, too. "It's kind of like I'm in a whole other world and I like that," he shared. "I like adventure stories because I'm in the adventure and it's fun."