I was traveling across the English countryside earlier this year when I came across a traditional Red Phone Box. Now many years ago these were once a key part of our country’s communications infrastructure, but now they are often found derelict with the original phone inside removed.
But the one that I had stumbled across had a surprise hiding inside. It had been converted into a micro-library with a simple notice on the side asking you to honour their simple swap rules.
I cursed myself for not having a copy of my book on me at the time and have since tried to ensure that I have a spare copy at hand to jump at such an opportunity. Of course I would have been at liberty to pick a book in return, but the simple knowledge that a copy of my book would have been waiting for a stranger to stumble across was a lovely notion. Even better… leave a hand written note inside to wish whoever picks the book up to enjoy the read 😉
I have since discovered that there are a number of these converted phone booths dotted around the UK and that it was an idea taken from the US. I came across a whole map of them on Google as well.
If you happen to know of a red phone box near you then you can apply to buy it from BT and do the same for as little as £1. What a great way to save a bit of our heritage and endorse community spirit!