On your way to the polls, grab a leftist polemic or a dystopic novel from the guerrilla mini-libraries that started popping up in old newspaper boxes around Manhattan yesterday.
“Books are weapons in the war of ideas,” a sticker on the newsrack-turned-mini-library on the corner of Reade Street and Centre Street reads, paraphrasing a Franklin D. Roosevelt quote. “Arm yourself.”
Titles include Fahrenheit 451, the US Constitution, 1984, the first Hunger Games book, and Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s book about the Trump White House.
Signs on the libraries encourage people to take a book and return it, and that “honor system rules apply.”
There are currently eight mini-libraries, and some are in politically significant locations, like the courthouse on Foley Square in response to the Kavanaugh hearings, and on Wall Street, to recall the financial crisis.
The creators of the mini-libraries, who asked to remain anonymous because of the project’s uncertain legal standing, both work in advertising. They previously created “New York City Walmart,” in which they put frames around existing street art and “sold” the art for charity.
One of the creators said the project’s intentions are embodied by the Roosevelt quote used to inspire Americans to help fight fascism. Next week marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day ending World War II.
“Hopefully it’ll just be another reminder and a thing on the street to encourage people to remember what the worst case scenarios are,” he said.
“Stay educated and remember that what’s happening is happening.”
The creators say they’ve collected more than 500 books for project, and plan to continue launching new mini-libraries around the city.