Could this be the future of books? A new kind of library has popped up in the village of Westbury-sub-Mendip (population 800) — the phone booth library. According to the Guardian, “When the mobile library stopped visiting, it was a blow for the villagers of Westbury-sub-Mendip. And when they found out they could lose their beloved red phone box, there was something of an outcry.”
Something of an outcry indeed! To combat the forces of evil, the villagers met (at a village tea party, of all things — could this whole scenario be any more British?) and voted that the phone booth be turned into a sharing library for all their beloved classics.
The little library has proved extremely popular with the residents of this tiny town. Villagers come to pick up a good read and leave one behind in exchange. Villager Angela Buchanan says, “It’s such a brilliant idea. Our nearest library is Wells, four miles away, so if you don’t want to go into the town but have run out of something to read, it’s great you can use this. All sorts of interesting books turn up – manuals, picture books, good literary novels.” The parish councilor and his wife “clean and polish” the book booth, and donate books that aren’t getting much use.
All in all, we think this is adorable, wonderful, and, as Angela says, a brilliant idea. Who’s for setting up mini libraries on the corners of Manhattan? (It might be hard to find a phone booth.) We certainly are.