Disused call-box turned into world's smallest lending library

Steve sez, "A traditional red phone box has been recycled into one of the UK's smallest lending libraries - stocking 100 books, CDs, and DVDs. The phone booth was bought from British Telecom for £1, and it looks like something right out of a Doctor Who episode." [ed: technically, the Tardis is a police call box, which is green blue, not red] [/comicbookguy]

Users simply stock it with a book they have read, swapping it for one they have not...

"This facility has turned a piece of street furniture into a community service in constant use."

A resident dreamed up the idea when the village lost its phone box and mobile library in quick succession.

Phone box has new life as library (Thanks, Steve!)

(Image: Phone box and bus stop, Cheriton, Hampshire, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from Mike Cattell's photostream)


  1. the TARDIS is blue, not green, it should also be capitalised as it stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.

  2. The TARDIS is a blue-painted police call box, not green nor red.
    Though I did see a nice brown-painted one up in Edinburgh that had been converted into a coffee stand.

    1. Wikipedia says:

      1) British police boxes were usually blue, except in Glasgow, where they were red.

      2) About 7% of the population are color blind.

  3. Good tip, if BT rip the telephone out of your red phone box, and put a notice up saying “This phone box will be removed in 30 days”, you can offer to buy it for £1 (as long as it’s on or near your land) and they will let you. We did it, too, although ours doesn’t have a library… yet.

    Better than seeing them get sold off for £500+ to someone like Tom Jones to have in his LA back garden.

  4. Say hello to the future of the public library (based upon current predicted levels of funding).

  5. This kind of thing would be great to start in the US, but the thought immediately, depressingly makes me think the haters would abuse their privileges/destroy it. There’s a “Dude I heard something really nice is happening over in Pleasantville, let’s go f*** it up!” mentality over here. Or the community gov’t would have to shut it down because someone left a copy of Harry Potter and a fundamentalist caught their kid looking at the cover.

    In NYC I recycle paperbacks by leaving them in the subway.

  6. I’m pretty sure a bunch of the lending libraries in hostels I’ve stayed at have been smaller than this, but still pretty cool to see these things being repurposed.

  7. Hello. Here in Chicago a group has taken old newspaper boxes and repainted and repurposed them as small lending libraries on different corners of the city. They are tiny on a stand and probably 15inches x 15inches and make the call box look palatial by comparison. I’ve borrowed and dropped a book at them. Have a great day!

  8. Here in Portland, OR we have something very similar, only it’s a mailbox on a corner that’s painted bright sky blue and planted in a big flower pot. People leave books or magazines in there and if you take something out you’re supposed to leave something in return. It’s pretty cool and generally people play by the rules.

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