Monday, August 6, 2012

London Phone Boxes - Phone Box Libraries

London red telephone box Cavendish Square - Photogrpah by Tim Irving

Nobody uses them but public phone boxes are still well loved. For a few weeks this summer while we host the Olympics, London has allowed a few of its traditional red  phone boxes to be transformed by selected artists. It's a nice idea. London is one of the few cities where you can  still find red phone boxes with working phones installed.

Love Life LOndon Telelphone box Photograph by Tim Irving

phone box library - photograph by Tim Irving

This is my local phone box, just outside Cambridge. Like many others around the country, It's been converted into a book exchange. Anyone and everyone is free to browse and help themselves. 

The idea works very well, the box is always stuffed full of books of all genres. My friend above is holding a sporting biography that was published this year.

phone box library -photograph Tim Irving


  1. It's been years since I've seen a phone booth here in the US. They sort of snuck away quietly. Now when I see one in an older film it's like, "Oh yeah! I remember phone booths!" But of course nobody has nor had the red darlings you British made your calls from. I'm pleased to know they've been preserved.

    Now that little book exchange repurposing idea makes my heart sing! I wish we had them here; it occured to me that on those nights my own loaded shelves fail to inspire me, I could pop down and search the booth for a bedtime story.

  2. Dear mr. Irving, my friends and me are going to make an exhibition about book interventions in public spaces. The exhibition will be a part of Moscow municipal program "Books in parks" and one of the main russian book-fairs "Nonfiction" ( Your photo with the bookshelves in phonebox really suits to our purpose.
    so we'll be appreciated if you can provide us with high-res photo
    is it possible?

    courtesy yours
    Maria Fadeeva



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