Thursday, 19 January 2012

Bookcrossing at the Starbooks Occupation Library

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the Starbooks Occupation Library at Occupy London’s now threatened camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
Housed under the same canvas as the Tent City University, which runs lectures, music gigs and poetry readings, the library’s atmosphere is cheerful and welcoming and the selection of books is eclectic. “No porn and no Barbara Cartland,” the middle aged man in charge told me. “Apart from that we’ll take anything.”
The library operates strictly on an honour system. Those who borrow books are trusted to either return them or replace them with another donation. Or for a small donation, you can buy a book. While I’m there a teacher makes a donation for an old copy of Teach Yourself Speaking and Debating. “I work with a group of young boys,” she says. “This is just the sort of thing I need to help build their confidence.”
On my first visit, I had no books to leave at the library, but a week or so later, I went back with two that I had registered on Bookcrossing. I had a feeling that a book set free here could end up having quite a tale to tell. And I was right. This morning, to my delight, I received the following notice, passed on by the Bookcrossing Alert Robot:
I found this book [The Women’s Room] at Occupy London's Library and was told that I could take it home with me if I wished. I had hoped to bring it back to Occupy Boston, but encampment was shut down the very day I flew home (to Boston). Now it's in Massachusetts with me, and I'll take it up to Saratoga Springs New York in a few days where I plan to pass it on.
Can’t wait for the next instalment!

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