Red telephone box transformed into a library – calling the plots

Posted on 4 February 2014
By Carlton Whitfield
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A red telephone box has been turned into a mini-library in East London and forms part of a book-crossing social experiment.

Sebastian Handley, a Lewisham resident who renovated the telephone box, said: “I didn’t just want to stick some shelves up for the books, I wanted to add a bit of character and hopefully people will like it.

“I worked on every nut and bolt to make it a little shrine of magic. I packed extra lights into the ceiling void, put a yellow filter on the down-light and laid a carpet on the floor.

“So if you stumble across it at night it really is a startling sight, like a miniature light house.”

The book exchange, at the corner of Lewisham Way and Tyrwhitt Road, is one of three phone booths that have been adopted by the community thanks to BT’s ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme.

The initiative sees disused telephone boxes that are costly to maintain sold to charities or local authorities for a nominal fee of £1.

Dre MC, Brockley resident and participant in Brockley Max arts festival, said: “It’s innovative to say the least, ambitious as well. At least it preserves the telephone boxes in Brockley – I might even be inclined to donate.”

All local residents are encouraged to leave books for others, the project is a social experiment as well as a functioning library.

As inscribed in the kiosk: “It’s not what you get, it’s what you leave behind.”