LA CROSSE, WIS — A disturbing sign to begin the week, as one of the Little Free Libraries on the north side appears to only be stocked with novels depicting a post apocalyptic hellscape.
Delores Frumpaige – a resident on Charles Street – first noticed the change on her way to dig her Geo Metro out of a pile of leaves not picked up by the city.
“I always check at the beginning of the week, to see what’s left in there,” Frumpaige said. “I was hoping to find like Red Mountain or something, but all they had was The Road.”
Frumpaige said she immediately became suspicious, as the Little Free Libraries function with a ‘take a book, leave a book’ honor system.
“That means, as time went on this year, people were very keen to trade in their copies of The Road,” Frumpaige continued, “Probably because that story is getting a little too close to being a possible reality and people don’t want to think about that.”
The Road by Cormac McCarthy follows a father and son as they navigate a post-apocalyptic world where society has collapsed and there is danger around nearly every turn.
“I’ve never read it personally, but I did see that movie they did with the guy from Lord of the Rings, so I get it,” Frumpaige added. “Pandemic, climate change, chaotic unrest everywhere while you are just trying to get by… this is probably not the story people want to read right now.”
Frumpaige indicated she is trying to read something much more uplifting than The Road like 1984 or the works of Sylvia Plath.
Reporter Sam Shilts contributed to this article.