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From Abandoned Phone Booth to...Library?
Inspired by the books she'd been hoping to clean out of her studio, Inouye and her husband decided to make the booth a community library. In 2010 the couple scrubbed it clean and wrapped its base in a cheery, floral-patterned tablecloth. Inouye made a sign inviting neighbors to leave used, family-friendly books and to help themselves to any titles that interested them.
The library was an instant best-seller. "It can be filled with 50 books in the morning," Inouye says, "and by afternoon, they're gone." So far, mysteries are the most popular genre, but when someone donated a 1,300-page history text, it disappeared in two days. Inouye had initially planned to run the booth for just a month during a lull in her work schedule. But "people kept dropping off books!" she says, "and now I've been doing it for more than two years."
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