What I’ve Learned From Offering Little Free Library Tarot Readings

Surprise, surprise — I’m still afraid of other people’s judgement

Amanda Kay Oaks
Book Witch Tarot
Published in
4 min readMay 23, 2022

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Photo credit: Amanda Kay Oaks

One of the joys of marrying into homeownership has been realizing my dream of owning a Little Free Library. The Your Book Friend in real life outpost is still incredibly new (as in, about a week old), but I’m already finding a lot of joy in watching the ecosystem shift as people stop by to take and/or leave books.

But simply having a Little Free Library wasn’t enough for me, it turned out. Pretty much the moment my husband installed the thing, I started wondering about what other small surprises I could leave in my little box for people to find. Being a bit of a book witch, one obvious answer came to me — tarot readings to go.

If you’ve ever been to the Renaissance Festival, you might’ve seen these one-card readings on offer. Basically, you get an envelope that contains a single tarot card and a written interpretation of its message. It’s a great option if you’re not able (or willing) to shell out for the more expensive readings offered on site, and you get a little souvenier in the form of the card.

I adore these one-card offerings, so I decided to try giving away some of my own now that I have a ready-made venue. I grabbed a relatively inexpensive tarot deck with the goal of giving it away, bit by bit, based on which cards came to the surface. This idea thrilled me in a joyous, uncomplicated way… until the deck arrived, and I actually sat down to select the first batch of cards.

The judgement of other people has always been my Achilles Heel. It’s what drives my social anxiety, and why I would probably still not know our next door neighbor’s neighbors names if I didn’t marry someone more socially competant than me.

The beauty of the Little Free Library was supposed to be that I didn’t actually have to speak to anyone in order to feel connected to a community. But apparently, I can still be scared of people I will most likely never see.

Even as I stocked the first batch of books, a small part of me worried about parents being upset that my library, unlike several others in the neighborhood, does not cater to children. I agonized over what might happen…

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Amanda Kay Oaks
Book Witch Tarot

Pittsburgh-based writer & wearer of many metaphorical hats. Making words about books, pop culture, witchery, health, travel, and more! She/her.