The Library

Little Shelford Library

Cambridgeshire is known for its little villages and community atmosphere. I’m lucky enough that my Gran lives there and so I’ve grown up with its mix of cottages, bungalows and thatched roofs (as well as outings into Cambridge itself). A couple of years ago near Christmas, we were driving through Shelford and Little Shelford, when we spotted two telephone boxes – one all lit up with fairy lights and a Santa scarecrow, and another full of shelves and books. Being a Tumblr regular, I’ve noticed a few telephone box lending libraries popping up on my feed too, which obviously fills me with bookish joy. Quirky old telephone boxes, rather than being derelict and lonely old remnants of time past, are being reused in the best possible way, becoming used by communities again.

Little Shelford Telephone Box

Two weeks ago, whilst we were visiting my Gran, we were on our way back and I asked my Mum to stop in Little Shelford and let me take a few photos of this wonderful little lending library. I hope the photos give you as much joy as they do me – a little mid-week pick-me-up. I only wish that I had a local telephone box to fill with books…

Little Shelford Library Door

Libraries really are wonderful. They’re better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts. – Jo Walton.

Little Shelford Box

And one more photo for luck…

Little Shelford Fiction

A great library doesn’t have to be big or beautiful. It doesn’t have to have the best facilities or the most efficient staff or the most users. A great library provides. It is enmeshed in the life of a community in a way that makes it indispensable. A great library is one nobody notices because it is always there, and always has what people need. –ย  Vicki Myron, (Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World).

11 thoughts on “The Library

  1. Really adorable. I haven’t been in a library in a longtime.. but you just made me remember how much I used to love to browse in them. A library in Buenos Aires is where I fell in love w/ books.


  2. Those are very small libraries. Even I have more books than that.


    1. Ha, yes they are! I think they are more like – take a book, replace with a book you’ve read, rather than a proper library. I know, I have much more books than this, it’s just an interesting idea ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. I think they have that here too. (Canada) Good idea. Our local libraries are having a hard time.


  3. Love it.

    My daughter and I love Dewey, such a great story.

    This summer, I have had the privilege of going to our small town library with my kids. We all get excited on the way there, and, then, amidst our wanderings, we meet up and share our treasures. It is the best.



  4. This is really a beautiful idea! Telephone-box are nice to see and they are even better if there are the books in it. It would be amazing if these telephone-box-library were in every city ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. I’m so glad these actually exist! I’d seen them popping up on Pinterest, but I wasn’t sure if they were real or not. I’d certainly participate if I had one nearby. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Reblogged this on Future.Life.Happiness and commented:
    Reblogged from Cats & Chocolate. An amazing and sustainable idea. We hope to make our very own library here in our student office.



  7. I’ve never seen a library like that! Amazing. I’d borrow The Clan of the Cave Bear, as it’s a while since I’ve read it. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Oh my my goodness! This library is adorable. I want such a telephone box to build my own little library in my house!!


  9. Victoria Catherine August 13, 2014 — 3:23 am

    Great post! I wish there were tiny libraries like these where I live. It is so rare to hear of someone actually reading something non-electronic these days. I will be heartbroken if libraries ever go extinct.


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