Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Our Little Village Library/Book Exchange


Old telephone box converted to a village book exchange

I posted about this on twitter a little while ago, but then it occurred to me that I don't think I mentioned it on my blog. So I thought I'd rectify that now. 

I'd noticed a village nearby where the residents had turned their old unused red telephone box into a little book exchange, and I thought it was really wonderfully done. Then I realised we had the self same thing standing unused in our village and how wonderful it would be if we could convert ours too! Several enquiries to various authorities and a bit of lovely signage and shelf-building later, and we now have our very own little village library! I help keep it neat and tidy and it's a lovely thing to be involved with. As you can see from the picture above, Daisy pup was intrigued by it too and was having a good look at the book selection! The idea is to bring along a book you've finished with, leave that one, and then take a book that you fancy reading. There's no obligation to then return that book, though I've noticed some readers do indeed do that. 

There's a couple of photos below of some of our early stock, it's changed around several times since then. But it gives a flavour of the variety we've got, from Wodehouse and Kafka and Homer, to Anita Shreve and Ian Rankin, from Anne Fine to Jo Nesbo, from Cecelia Ahern to Stieg Larsson and from Hilary Mantel to Nick Hornby - there's a really nice variety being donated and swapped. There's romance, historical, adventure, biographies and children's books too. 

A selection of the reading material on offer

It's interesting to see the variety of books that people read and donate. It seems a popular way of sharing the books you've bought and enjoyed and want to pass on, plus a chance to discover something that you may never have thought about trying before. And in places where there may be people who can't get to the nearest actual library building,  or can't get there very often, it gives another option for borrowing books. 

We also have a little noticeboard inside, where I've placed a pen and some notepaper, and people can write requests and ask if there's anything in particular they are looking for which someone else might have and be happy to pass on. 


More of the books that have been donated/swapped

Do you think this is a good idea? Have you seen one of these, or a similar type of scheme near you? Would you like one?


32 comments:

  1. It's lovely Lindsay. I envy you but I don't live in a village. There is one out in the Vale which I photographed some time ago but I don't think it was stacked as full as yours :)

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    1. Thanks Jane. It seems to be doing well and people are keeping it well stocked. Nice to hear you saw one too.

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  2. Oh wow. Congratulations on setting up such a wonderful service - there must be so many people in your area who appreciate what you've done.

    We don't really have any of those phone boxes left and we actually live very close to a library. It's a shame though - I'd love to do something like this.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Hanna, and for your kind words. I just hope people continue to enjoy it, it's interesting seeing what turns up there! There seem to be quite a few near here.

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  3. I loved the idea of this when you posted before, think its a great idea and well done for being so involved.

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    1. Thanks Karen :) it's nice to see so many of them springing up, around here at least.

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  4. It's such a lovely idea! I live in rural France at the moment and one of the villages nearby (which does have a library, but it closes for 3 weeks in summer) has introduced big chests of drawers filled with books (top drawer for kids, and so on), with deckchairs and tables nearby, which they stock with popular books (I think library readers get a chance to vote for them), so people can browse and borrow. I often stop with the kids to read them on the spot, but some do take them home to return later at some other spot within town.

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    1. Thanks for commenting. I love what the village library near to you has done, that's another lovely idea.

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  5. That is so sweet - what a lovely idea.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Vicki. I'm glad so many people like the idea.

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  6. What an amazing thing! I love the idea! A bit less formal than the library...especially for those who don't read as fast!

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    1. Thanks for commenting Melissa. Yes, certainly less formal, and you can take as long as you want!

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  7. I absolutely love this, great idea

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Thanks for commenting Lainy, glad you like this idea.

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  8. this is an amazing idea! I wish I could do this where I live, but its outer London, not many book loving people there. But this is super!!

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    1. Thank you for commenting and I'm glad you like this idea. I hope you can find one one day.

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  9. Awesome Lins. Much respect to you.
    x

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    1. Thanks for commenting Shaz. It's lovely to be involved with this. x

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  10. That is such a lovely idea!!

    Http://workingmumy.blogspot.com

    L x

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  11. Love the idea! Great work, there. :)

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    1. Thanks for commenting Michelle :)

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  12. How amazing! I remember you mentioning this on twitter and I loved the idea then, it's so nice to see pictures. I'm not sure how well it would go down in central London...

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    1. Thanks for commenting Ellie. Been meaning to share pictures for ages. I'd love to think it would work there too, but can see the drawbacks too..

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  13. This is fantastic, well done Lindsay! :)

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment Kate :)

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  14. This is so cool! I wish we had one of these by us...

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  15. Not just a good idea, its a wonderful idea and I love that you have been thoughtful enough to allow people to leave requests.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Tracy, I'm glad you like the idea. There have only been a couple of requests so far but I like the idea that people can do that if they want to.

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  16. I came across your article while researching for small library ideas,its a wonderful idea,to recycle the phonebooth,it gave me an idea for a small library
    I am about to start a community library and that is in Daresalaam,Tanzania alot of miles from your library,

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  17. I came across your article while researching for small library ideas,its a wonderful idea,to recycle the phonebooth,it gave me an idea for a small library
    I am about to start a community library and that is in Daresalaam,Tanzania alot of miles from your library,

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Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)