I dislike long commutes. This is especially true if I happen to leave behind my faithful sources of entertainment: my tablet, headphones or whatever book I am currently reading. There is nothing worse than a 2 hour commute with nothing to listen to aside from the rumbling of the train, commotion of people entering and exiting and the bustle of the Evening Standard being read by others.
Imagine the excitement that I felt when taking a long trip on the Northern Line to Morden Station when I realized that they have a book swap…right in the station! Score one for Transport for London and score one for this self proclaimed geek! I almost found myself breaking out in dance Carlton Banks style!
Books For London is an initiative that aims to provide a London wide book sharing scheme to London’s tubes and stations. This is perfect for those of us that still like the feel of an actual book in our hand as opposed to the many e-readers that are available. It is also ultra handy for those with busy lifestyles that doesn’t allow for much time to peruse the local library. On your way to work you can pick up a sweet read and not have the pressure of returning it. This is not only a convenience but it supports literacy, and it is a very “green” scheme. According to Books For London a whopping 13 million books are sent to UK’s landfills each year. Instead of tossing your old books you can donate them to your local book swap for your fellow commuters to enjoy, a literature up-cycle of sorts!
Books For London is such a grand campaign that it was the winner of the 2011 Ideas4Mayor competition receiving accolades from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
If you are interested in picking up a book or donating to the cause you can find a current list of participating locations by clicking here:
Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” ~Kofi Annan