Ruth’s novel idea – a garden swap shop for books

Ruth Taylor has started The Little Garden Library at her home on Hardhorn Road in Poulton
Ruth Taylor has started The Little Garden Library at her home on Hardhorn Road in Poulton
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A bookworm has made a unique home for library lovers in the front garden of her Poulton home.

Librarian Ruth Taylor has set up the Little Garden Library, a swap shop for literature, in an eye-catching mini house in a bid to encourage people to read more and share their books.

The community book exchange has been set up in the garden of her home on Hardhorn Road and has already had interest from pupils and families from nearby St Chad’s CE Primary School, as well as passers-by and residents.

She said: “It’s all to promote reading for pleasure. I’d seen similar schemes in London, they’re sort of done to get books to people who might not otherwise get them. All my life I’ve used libraries and read for pleasure a great deal, so this is passing that on.”

The Little Garden Library opened up over the weekend, with 15 books initially – including children’s books and popular adult fiction – and has had four swaps so far, with more books taken too.

Each book includes a personalised book mark explaining the concept of the swap shop to readers.

“It’s all to promote reading for pleasure.”

She added: “The interest over the weekend and from the school has been incredible. It was fascinating watching people take an interest in it.

“Most of the children’s books went after the first day, which was good. It’s drawn a lot of attention because of the school.”

The mother-of-two worked in the libraries at Collegiate, Millfield and St George’s secondary schools over 15 years.

She added: “I always used to promote reading for pleasure and not just because you have to.

“Reading opens up completely different worlds for you, but when I’ve worked in schools a lot of children say they don’t like reading. You have to read, it’s just essential.

“I love the idea of escaping into a book and it taking you somewhere.”

Mrs Taylor, who now works for Blackpool Council’s library service, is looking to set up a similar scheme across the resort, launching it at Blackpool’s annual festival of words, Wordpool.

The literature festival, held in early July, will see the launch of other community book exchanges, ‘Stop + Swap at Book Box Blackpool’, across the area.