These are not official public libraries -- they're curbside book exchanges -- and worth exploring

RITA A. LEONARD - This one, at S.E. 69th and Harney Street, warns of apocalypse if you dont get to your reading! As the Holiday bustle passes, you may again find yourself with time for a leisurely stroll on the sidewalks of Inner Southeast Portland.

And when you do, you may find yourself passing "Little Free Libraries" on poles or posts in the parking strip or at the edge of a yard. Do you ever stop to look inside?

These unrestricted book exchanges – "take a book and leave a book" – are a great way to share books with passersby. And nobody's checking: You can take one you think you might want to read, and replace it with the same book or another one later on.

The designs for the Little Free Libraries are widely varied; some are wooden, some are glass. Most have doors for weather protection. There are single- and multi-shelf units, boxy or tall and narrow ones, and most could use refreshing with some new free books, if you have the inclination!

Some of them feature colorful designs to delight the eye, even if you don't stop to explore what's inside. Here are a few Inner Southeast curbside libraries, to demonstrate the many creative ideas behind them. And, of course, you may find reading treasures inside!