Open Collective
Open Collective
Update #1: 2020 recap, moving into 2021!
Published on January 7, 2021 by Lil Read


We want to express our gratitude to everybody who has helped us out with donations of books, clothing, time, and/or funds, as well as those who have visited our free book stand and helped spread the word about Little Read Books. Your early support is so meaningful. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

As of the writing of this update, we have distributed over 3,000 books over the course of 21 weekly book stands. It has been incredibly special to connect with the people of Capitol Hill over a shared love of reading and neighborly solidarity. We’ve talked to hundreds of people about books and mutual aid, and it has been a treat experiencing people really show up for their community. We also have a special place in our hearts for our regulars who show up every single Saturday to hang out, pick out a couple books from our selection for the week, drop off their finished picks from previous weeks, and share a meal. Our hearts are full of love and hope. 

Caption: Photo of Little Read Books free book stand on a snowy day. featuring a table covered in books, zines, masks, Comrade Co-op's famous free burritos, and hand sanitizer.

We have very exciting news: we will be opening a free book store at 2260 California St, Denver, CO 80205 this Saturday!!!!! We literally couldn’t have done this without your support, so thank you very, very much! We are thrilled to have a long-term, accessible home for our inventory of thousands of great free books! Having this indoor space will make it possible for many more volunteers to get involved and for us to build stronger relationships with our neighbors. We look forward to opening up a space devoted to reading and education centered around a culture of generosity that is welcoming to all people, especially the working class, poor and unhoused people of Denver (who are sometimes excluded from bookstores with a profit motive). We are fortunate to be sharing space with other inspiring organizations struggling towards justice, housing, and education for ALL. 

We acknowledge that our mutual aid work is conducted on violently-stolen and continually-occupied indigenous territory of the Apache, Ute, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Arapahoe Nations. The histories of our city, region, and continent since European settlement are blood-drenched histories of greed, exploitation, land theft, slavery, genocide, and ecological catastrophe. We recognize decolonization and the substantive return of land to its native peoples as integral to the collective struggles this project is a part of. We are committed to centering indigenous voices in the literature we distribute and our educational programming.

We want to give a HUGE shout out to Comrade Co-op, a local mutual aid group that has been providing us with delicious, warm, free meals to give out alongside books since October (even before they officially launched!). Thanks to them, we have been able to provide hundreds of community members with nourishing food in addition to books and other supplies! They are also on Open Collective if you’d like to contribute to their work, and they are looking for volunteers if you’d like to get involved with hot food preparation and distribution in Denver. Please help spread the word about their important work if you know anyone who might want to volunteer or support them. 

Before we sign off on this update, we wanted to share our new wishlist that we put together of books - both ones requested often & some radical reads we are particularly interested in giving out - as well as other supplies to distribute for free to our community. We also have a new volunteer form which makes signing up to help out much easier! Feel free to share those links in your neighborhood facebook group or email list, with anyone who might have something from the list to donate or who may want to join our humble crew in this 100% volunteer-run project.

Caption: Flyer for our free book stand on January 2nd, featuring a graphic of a mother and child holding a book in a cabin, reading "Little Read Books - free books, food, and more, Sat 11a-3p at Grant & Colfax - We need volunteers to help with free book distribution every Saturday in January! Email us at [email protected] or come by this Saturday to learn more! (note: this (January 9) Saturday's outdoor book stand at the Capitol will likely be postponed due to snow!)

Thank you again!

With gratitude and in solidarity, 

The LRB crew

Caption: our emblem, featuring 3 dogs on a red book, over a yellow cog with a yellow star in it.