The Cookbook Nook, a new spin on the Little Free Library

Maggie Lebherz, owner of Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium on North Market Street, stands next to the store’s Cookbook Nook.

Have you ever used a Little Free Library? I’m sure you’ve seen them, those small shelves perched outside a business or home with free books on them. You can bring or borrow a book to take home.

Well one business downtown joined the Little Free Library, but put their own spin on it — a cookbook nook.

Maggie Lebherz, owner of Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium at 214 N. Market St., started the initiative last week to offer up cookbooks in her store that customers can borrow or drop off for others to enjoy.

She got the idea after she and her husband were noticing more and more Little Free Libraries around town, but they mostly offer up novels, which she said didn’t interest her.

“We just thought it would be cool to do cookbooks because you always want to try new recipes but you don’t have to commit to buying a cookbook,” she said. “We thought it would be cool if people brought theirs in and they can bring in the ones that they like.

“We really love sharing our joy of cooking here,” she added. “We do classes through FCC and we do picnic baskets for things we do on our blog, so we thought how could we still get the community involved in cooking.”

The great thing about sharing cookbooks, she said, is that people who drop off books can highlight favorite recipes for others to take out and try.

To gain momentum, Lebherz provided books from her own cookbook collection. The nook, which is located on a wall within her store, offers up cookbooks for casserole recipes, one that uses white wine, spicy foods, recipes for baby food and young children, and more.

The owner said she just received the Little Free Library registration plate, which adds her library to the world map of Little Free Libraries.

“Here at Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium, we are happy to have a Little Free Library dedicated completely to cookbooks,” she said. “L.O.V.E.’s Cookbook Nook is a community oriented resource to help promote healthy eating and home cooking in our town.”

According to Littlefreelibrary.org, there are about 10 Little Free Libraries in Frederick County, many in and around downtown Frederick.

Lebherz’s Cookbook Nook is just another example of small businesses implementing a fun new way to make downtown unique. Not only does the Little Free Library promote reading, Lebherz’s spin on the initiative promotes cooking.

According to its website, Little Free Library was started in 2009 and has more than 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries in 88 different countries.

Its mission is to inspire a love of reading, build community engagement and spark creativity.

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter: @FairfieldCj.

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