Tammi Jo Bisch said she wasn't surprised when her husband Steve Bisch said in March that he wanted to build a library.
A little more than a month later, the little kiosk, shaped much like a large birdhouse and containing about 40 books and magazines, sits under the blue spruce in front of Tammi's mother's house in Pasco, complete with a bench for those wanting to read right then and there.
The Bisches' project is part of a national program aimed at creating thousands of small libraries, much as industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie did in the early 20th century, to promote literacy and community connections.
But a lot has changed since Carnegie provided the funding for his libraries. The internet and e-book readers, such as the Nook and Kindle, have changed the publishing market, and some books are only published digitally.
The Bisch family said it still sees a need for simple, low-tech books.
"You don't need electricity, you don't need a special (computer) program," Steve Bisch said. "You just have to have a love of reading and some time."
Steve, who is a library clerk at Washington State University's Richland campus, said his sister inspired his own love of books when he was growing up in Bellevue and they'd visit their library.
"She'd walk us two miles up the road and have us pick things out," he said. "I got a lot of books on airplanes and rockets."
Steve said he first was turned onto the idea after watching a national TV news program that talked about the Little Free Library program.
It also is fitting to have something inspired by Carnegie's libraries, since the industrialist provided $10,000 to build one in Pasco in 1911.
It is a museum maintained by the Franklin County Historical Society.
"Without Carnegie we wouldn't have public libraries as we know them today," he said.
The Bisches' library, registered as No. 1389 with Little Free Library, is not as grand in structure as a Carnegie library, but makes books just as accessible.
Shaped much like a large birdhouse, a variety of titles are available, from romances to cardboard books for very young children to classics such as a Hardy Boys mystery, The Mouse and the Motorcycle and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Tammi Jo Bisch bought most of the books in bulk through the online auction site eBay or at dollar stores.
People are free to take a book, no need to sign it out or pay a fee. Readers are encouraged to return it when they're done, give another book in its place or simply pass it on to a friend.
Steve Bisch has named the library after his mother-in-law, Helen "Sam" Boozer, who he and his wife are living with as she receives cancer treatments. Boozer, a voracious reader of romances and the works of Louis L'Amour and Nicholas Sparks, said she was honored.
The Bisches made sure to tell their neighbors about the little library, and everyone sounded enthusiastic, they said. There are a number of young children in the neighborhood and a nearby day care center the Bisches hope will use it. Their neighborhood also has public access to the Columbia River, and they said they hope some people looking to relax on the river's banks will stop to pick something up.
"I think it's cool," said neighbor Bev Martinolich. "I think the children need to be exposed to it. They're so electronically-minded. There's nothing wrong with a good book."
And even as the internet and digital publishing change the world of literature and reading, the Bisches said that even their 29-year-old daughter, likes to be able to turn a page when she's reading.
"There's still a lot of people, in different generations, who like to hold a book," Tammi Jo Bisch said.