New book swap library on Theresa Avenue
By Keri Beckingham
LOCAL residents have launched a book swap library for young families on Theresa Avenue in Bishopston.
Kate Willcocks has lived on Theresa Avenue with her two daughters (aged six and four) for four years after moving from London, and she wanted to be around other young families too.
The library is located in a hedge outside number 11, and started running in October.
Kate came up with the idea as a way to encourage a sense of community and encourage people to buy less. Speaking about the library, she said: “Growing up I lived in the countryside in Hampshire, and when I was a child there was a little cake shop in a cupboard in the woods. Local elderly people used to bake cakes and leave them there for people to buy a slice, it was run on a trust basis and it was really exciting to see what would be there. The idea has always stuck with me, and it inspired me to think about what I could do to help people swap more things and buy less.
“Theresa Avenue is a really lovely road with lots of young families, and we are already doing lots of swapping generally to cut down on the number of things we buy. My daughters love reading, and we go through lots of books as a family, so I thought it would be a good way to encourage residents to share their books more. I’m passionate about keeping reading alive for children, as it’s all too easy to sit down in front of the TV these days.
“Book swap libraries are already popular in the USA, and there are a few in Bristol already. An amazingly creative local carpenter Jona Warbey offered to make the library for us, and what he’s made is really beautiful. I decorated the inside, and it is being really well used so far. It’s so nice to see families stop and use it on the school, and people normally pick up a couple of books and then bring them back when they’ve finished reading them.
“I think this area is a good place to have schemes such as this, as we have a lovely community and things are used and respected. I feel really lucky to live here, and I want to use the library as a starting point for swapping other things too.”