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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 26 February 2017

Brighton City Reads Book Swap Boxes Mean Books For Everyone

City Reads is all about the pleasure of sharing books and stories  - and let's face it - Brighton & Hove is a very bookish city.  

Walking the streets in certain neighbourhoods on a fair weathered evening, you may have already noticed a system of informal and anonymous book-sharing going on.  

Whether it's piles of paperbacks lying on pavements or homemade boxes inviting neighbours to take and leave a book.

Local crime writer William Shaw has his own 'homemade' box outside his house, and William says he loves the ongoing story of the box, which now has a life of his own. He even had a Christmas card this year from one of its regular users. 

William is charmed by the fact that in this defiantly digital age old-fashioned page-turners still have the power to unite a community. 

Inspired by William's DIY spirit City Reads got together with Brighton Festival and enlisted the help of some sponsors and funders to create several of these Book Swap Boxes to enable readers across the city free access books during City Reads 2017. 


In the past City Reads volunteers have left books on park benches, in launderettes and cafes. More recently they've been looking for a more fulfilling, sustainable way to share books with people. 

City Reads think these Book Swap Boxes are the answer! They embody the City Reads spirit of small-scale community interactivity and a shared love of the written word.

And of course there will be a number of copies of this year's City Reads choice: The Handsworth Times by Sharon Duggal in each box and books by best selling crime writers: William Shaw and Elly Griffiths (both Brighton residents), who each have their own boxes - sponsored by their publisher Quercus. 

These will be located at Redwood Cafe (William Shaw's box) and Pavilion Gardens Cafe (Elly"s box).

City Readers encourage residents to take a book, leave a book, read a book and share.It's that simple!

Look out for these Book Swap Boxes during City Reads. They will be sign posting their locations via social media and via by CLICKING HERE.

by: Mike Cobley




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