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There are lots of aims we set ourselves as a business and two of ours found a new link this year. Helping local children access good books and managing our waste in the most environmentally friendly way.

Now I wouldn't personally call slightly damaged books waste because we all know once a book has been read it is going to have a crease on the spine or a turned over corner to the page and its still perfectly readable for years to come. But, for a business selling new books occasionally we do get the odd one or two that get a scuff or a crease when we have used it for a photo shoot etc. These we cannot then sell as new, it wouldn't be right! Then I suddenly had another of my little ideas! Lets give them out free to children around the Forest of Dean.

We are in an area where there are lots of Bus Stop and Telephone Box Libraries and so we knew we had places we could drop them off and children could pop in and help themselves.

On stickers went and the first big box headed out the door which topped up 3 local telephone libraries. A week later I passed one of these drop offs and out of curiosity I thought I would pop in and see if any of the books had been chosen and to my delight well over half had already been picked up including the teen fiction! I then took a detour home to check another drop off and that one had a big empty gap!

I realised this was working, children who perhaps couldn't get to a big library and maybe couldn't afford to buy books because lets face it right now in the depths of a cost of living crisis books are a luxury, were picking books up and hopefully reading!

However, there is only so much a small business can give away but this is community project and what do rural communities do best? Help each other! A quick chat to a teacher friend and she mentioned her school had some books that they no longer needed. That night I then post on Facebook and lots of people locally had books their children had outgrown but they hadn't had chance to move them on either.


Fast forward and we now have a Community Corner in our foyer outside our warehouse next to our click and collect lockers where we not only advertise local events for children but we have a donation box where children can donate any unwanted books. These books get a special 'Friends of Books for Bugs' sticker on and are added to free libraries across the Forest. This has been such a great success we are now dropping books off a bit further out too and who knows what the future will bring!



If you have read this far, then thank you! And if you are thinking ooh I have a pile of books we no longer read, please consider dropping them off to a local community library or offering them to a local nursery or playgroup together we can keep children reading.