Local author Gwenn Voelckers is on a mission. She is on the road and stocking Little Free Libraries across Monroe County with free copies of her book, “Alone and Content.”
“In this challenging, shelter-in-place time, I wanted to make my book available to as many people as possible,” Voelckers said.
Little Free Libraries is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community and fosters neighborhood book exchanges through sidewalk book-sharing boxes around the world, including Greater Rochester.
Voelckers wrote her book in simpler times with a goal to help divorced and widowed women feel whole and complete on their own. Now, when so many are living in isolation, her messages of hope, comfort and inspiration have a more universal appeal.
“Living alone, no matter what the circumstances, can be really tough,” Voelckers said. “We are social beings by design. Connections are what bring us joy and keep life meaningful. That’s why this time of social distancing is so difficult.
“As good as I am at living alone, the current COVID-19 stay-at-home order has tested even my own resolve. I was fine for a while, but then I wasn’t. I needed to heed some of my own good advice: be still, reach out. Stay connected with myself and others.”
In this mandated downtime, Voelckers believes that alone time can be a life-changing opportunity to rest and grow, “just as a tree rests in winter before bursting into glorious abundance in springtime.”
Voelckers’ book opens with a “How Content are You?” quiz, followed by a scorecard designed to help readers assess their level of happiness and satisfaction with life. While not scientific, this quiz and scorecard can provide a baseline for moving forward on the road to contentment.
Distribution of “Alone and Content” into Little Free Libraries has started.
“I started close to home,” Voelckers said. “I’ve made book deposits in Honeoye Falls, Mendon, Rush, Henrietta, Pittsford and Perinton. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be traveling to the northeast suburbs, the city of Rochester and the entire westside.”
Voelckers uses the Little Free Library website to locate book-sharing boxes in each area. She plans to go beyond Monroe County, funds permitting.
“I used my stimulus check to purchase books for this distribution,” she said. “I can’t think of a better use for these dollars.”

Gwenn Voelckers can be reached at aloneandcontent.com or facebook.com/aloneandcontent.