Thameslink rail users enjoy new book swap at Elstree and Borehamwood station

Thameslink rail users can now grab a book on-the-go following the launch of a new book swap scheme at Elstree and Borehamwood station.

Thanks to the Rotary Club at The Studios of Elstree and Borehamwood and the station team, there are now 500 books people can choose from as part of the new book swap scheme. Once people have read the books, they are encouraged to return them and also donate any other unwanted books to the station shelves.

Rotarian Irmine Mason, who came up with the idea, said: “I have often seen similar schemes working in France as well as some train and tube stations and other public places in the UK. Reading plays a huge part in opening one’s mind to different experiences, beliefs and cultures.”

Irmine has been working with fellow Rotarian Helen Stammers, Chair of Community and Vocational Committee, to plan the project, raise the funds, source and order the equipment, collect the books, organise the launch and ensure the scheme runs smoothly in the future.

“I joined Rotary for the opportunity to work for the good of our community,” said Helen. “I could see it was a catalyst for proposals such as this to develop from an idea to a working project. The Book Swap has been a lot of work, but absolutely worthwhile for the end result of seeing people happily choosing a free book from the shelf. Their positive response made me proud to have worked with Irmine to make her idea a reality.”

The Book Swap offers a selection of books for people to borrow, read on their journey and return to swap for another. Thameslink will work with the local community leaders to provide a selection of books on the main shelf in the ticket hall and, in due course, more books in the waiting room on Platform 1.

With a major station refurbishment in progress, it is good timing but also a very busy time for Station Manager, Marc Asamoah, who said: “I think the book exchange is a great idea and would like to thank the local community for supporting us with this. Elstree has a new station feel and this will add even more value for our passengers. I had been asked by quite a few people if there was going to be a book exchange so when the Rotarians came forward with their proposal it was perfect timing.”