When COVID took over the world, my lovely friends Paul and Jeremy decided to set up a free library in their garden, in the Mancunian suburb of Levenshulme. Paul is a writer and artist, who you might remember from booQfest, where Percy met Art Critic Panda.
In his own words (and art) this is how the library came about. Click on each image to enlarge:
We started it because we feel that books need to keep moving, in circulation, passed from hand to hand. I say this even as the world's worst hoarder and from inside a house heaving with books. But... in the summer last year we visited a new, local Free Library in Burnage - and just a few moments browsing some shelves that weren't mine - so deep into the pandemic and lockdown - well, it felt like bliss. I knew we had to help out creating a string of these LFL's across South Manchester. People need to be given books and they need to spend time with books. Just the act of rummaging and browsing and deciding what to read next feels very restorative and cheering, I think. And we love having the bookcase and the boxes outside our house. People stop by and they talk. Real people. I really do think books bring people together. - Paul Magrs
It's such a lovely idea and I would encourage anyone reading to consider starting a little local library of their own.