If you’ve not heard of Books for London yet, London Living very much hopes you will have soon. It’s “the campaign to create a London-wide book sharing scheme in London’s tube and train stations to be in operation by the opening ceremony of the Olympics.”
The campaign was the winner of the #ideas4Mayor competition at the London Policy Conference and was supported by Mayor Boris Johnson, who called the venture “a credit to our city’s commitment to literacy.”
The idea is to create shelves of books within London stations which commuters can use to borrow and donate books, creating a city-wide book swap similar to those in hostels and pub schemes.
Up to 13 million books are sent to landfill in the UK every year, an unsustainable number. By sharing books, Books for London will mean more to read, for free; and a chance for many space-constricted Londoners to clear out their bookshelves in return for a brand-new read.
Can it work? Well, the system has been running in Wimbledon station for some time now. We love the idea at East Village and would be interested to see our future community also creating some kind of resident book swap.
Have you seen a book swap in operation at your station? We’d love to hear more!