Books Are Like Trees: They Should Be Everywhere
I don’t seem to have a naturally addictive nature, except when it comes to books. They appear around me, fall off me, stick to me, and I leave trails of them wherever I go. I only buy jackets that can accommodate a book. I like pubs that have bookshelves and cafes with books in them, and can’t imagine why London doesn’t copy Iceland (the country with the world’s highest literacy rate – 99.9%) by putting books in public places more.
There are around 5,000 bus stops in the city of Detroit, but around half of them have no place to sit. Kyle Bartell and Charles Molnar wanted to change that and were able to put their plan into action after winning around $1100 (£730) in funding from their local community. ‘Sit on It Detroit’ was born, and today Kyle and Charles build bus stop benches with a difference: they also include a free library inside them. I’d love to kickstart a project along these lines if I could persuade my brother (who’s good with wood and a buzz saw) to get involved. I was thinking of approaching cafes and asking them if they’d like a free stocked bookshelf.
After all, a book came from a tree so shouldn’t we plant more of them? Education and good health are the most important things we can encourage in society. More reading leads to more writing. I’ve lately got in the habit of leaving signed Bryant & May novels and any other books I can spare on benches around London to encourage reading.
NB: At the moment, ‘The Victoria Vanishes’ is discounted to under two quid on Amazon, and has gone straight to no. 5 in the digital Movers & Shakers chart.