Joshua Freeman Literary Oasis in Cullman: The unassuming facade of Joshua Freeman’s home in Cullman, Alabama, hides a literary treasure trove that rivals bookstores and libraries. From “Stars Fell on Alabama” to George Wallace biographies, Freeman’s collection spans genres and topics. His love for reading started early, fueled by strict childhood rules that prohibited secular music and movies but left books unchecked.
Freeman’s religious upbringing remains strong, evident in his collection of Bibles, including unique translations like “Berkeley, hip slang from the 70s.” He proudly displays a trophy for reading the Bible every day during the 1990-1991 school year. His serious book collecting began at the University of Alabama, where library discards and monthly sales allowed him to amass a significant collection.
Thrifting and estate sales are also hunting grounds for Freeman, who finds joy in unexpected discoveries. His collection, estimated at over 10,000 books, covers diverse subjects. Freeman believes that exposing people to a variety of books increases the likelihood of finding something they enjoy. His passion for reading even led to personal discoveries about his family history in Wayne Flynt’s exploration of poor whites in Alabama.
Despite keeping the majority for himself, Freeman shares his love of reading with the Cullman community. He has given away hundreds of books and sold over 1,500 at Karma’s Coffeeshop since 2015. Freeman’s mission is not just about collecting; it’s about keeping books in the community and breaking down barriers to literacy.
In the heart of Cullman, Freeman’s home is a sanctuary for book lovers, a testament to the enduring power of literature in the digital age.