The Praça de Londres in Lisbon, hosts a red telephone box very similar with those traditional English ones. However, there is one detail that not only makes a difference but also very interesting: the cabin has turned into a mini-library, the Cabine de Leitura (Reading cabin). Several publishers, foundations and individuals have donated books at the beginning of the project, but the idea is to continue with donations by users in order to ensure the variety and rotation of books. Thus, the rule is that every time someone takes a book, should leave another one.
Take, donate, read and return: this is the concept above the cabin door, which aims to encourage a taste for reading but also want to strengthen community bonds and exercise citizenship. This is because there are no penalties and terms, the system is based on trust. Cabin users should leave their contacts recorded in a book and of course, returning it after reading. The books bring even a marker with the goals of the initiative so that people who take remember their responsibility to keep the space through returns and exchanges. The mini-library is a collaborative and sustainable project since it depends on the users themselves to continue operating.
The Cabine de Leitura is an initiative of the Movement of Merchants from Avenida Guerra Junqueiro , Praça de Londres and Avenida Roma and has the support of the Fundação PT. The inspiration came from a movement that began about five years in Westbury-sub-Mendip, in southwest England. This village of about 800 people woke up one day with one of their cabins turned into a mini-library with nearly 100 books available. The initiative was a success and the people lined up to order the books available. We hope the project in Lisbon works that well too and remain in operation for a long time!
Cabine de Leitura
Address: Praça de Londres – Lisbon
Working Hours: Todos os dias das 9h às 20h