Two avid readers have started a series of book hubs to share the joy of reading during lockdown.
Monique Hershkorn, from Stanmore, started the project when she decided to put a box of her unwanted books outside her home. She then posted on The Stanmore Group on Facebook for locals to stroll by and grab a free read, and in exchange they could put their unwanted books in the box.
The idea took off, and soon Sarah Burns, from Edgware, Naomi Cohen, from Woodside Park, and Bianca Sakol, from Bushey, joined forces to create The Little Local Book Hub. Monique, a freelance graphic designer, created a logo for the hub and Borehamwood proof-reader Tonie Jascourt helped create its social media posts.
They now have 12 hubs running nationwide, including in Stanmore, Edgware, Bushey, Mill Hill, Borehamwood, Elstree and Pinner.
During lockdown, they have received many messages saying the hubs have kept people sane, having a place to take a stroll to in the open air, and get free access to books. Children’s books are proving the most popular, with the hubs receiving daily requests for titles.
Monique said: “The local communities have been amazing and so generous in supporting this initiative. It’s brought connections with people living close who we never knew before.
“Local volunteers have been wonderful in collecting some books for us, but most people have dropped books to us and some have even donated bookshelves!”
Sarah added: “The hubs have been more successful than we ever dreamed and we feel privileged to have helped people, especially children who have been off school for months, to access books at this difficult time.
“Once the world returns to normal, and we all go back to our lives, our jobs, our routines, it probably won’t be possible to continue the hubs in their current form, but we still think that book sharing is a really great idea and we would like to grow it in our communities.”
Visit www.facebook.com/littlebookhub or www.instragram.com/thelittlelocalbookhub