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The Phone Box library Walk

If you’re looking for a reason to walk from one village to another the practise of using old phone boxes as free libraries are common in Switzerland. This means that if you’re shopping around for books in Switzerland you can either go to the shops and buy them with the car or you can go for a walk and see if any of the nearby villages have the books you’re looking for.

Former phone box used for sharing books

In Gingins, Grens, Eysins, Nyon and other towns, you can swap books. In Gingins you can get books from the recycling centre where instead of recycling books they re-share them. You can also get them from where the old post office was. In Grens and Eysins they have book sharing as well. These are open twenty-four hours a day.

In Grens it is especially amusing because they have labels for French, English, German, Italian and other language books. If you’re learning a language you can get books to read for free.

Instead of walking from one village to another for a coffee or to play on the swings (if you’re accompanied by children) you can walk and see if you find interesting books.

They have children’s books, cookery books, fiction and factual. If your bag is large enough, and if you have enough energy you could even pick up some of the heavier books. I found one about North African cooking, two about avalanches and others that are about dinosaurs and other topics.

I think that it’s a great way to share books. Instead of throwing books away or letting them sit on a shelf after they have been read you can place them in these phone boxes and the next reader can pick them up and read them in turn. By walking from village to village it helps you keep fit. By walking in towns and going to the different book sharing points the same benefit is present.

The beauty of phone boxes is that they are often protected from the weather so instead of having one library in a building to serve several villages each community shares books internally.

Goodreads, or some other reading sharing app, should add functionality to the app so that people with their app on their phone could catalogue which books are in which village. If other users of the app are looking for a book they can see if there is any book sharing point with this book. Books would then be read and shared more easily.

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