6 December 2009

Phone box becomes the world's smallest library and a worldwide news story

We've just had a visit from a German television crew, who've latched on to a story about our village that's been brewing for quite a few weeks - and has already been reported on as far away as Wells, Russia and Canada.

It all started at a tea party in the village square at the end of August, where a main topic of discussion was what to do with the phone box, which British Telecom had offered to sell to the Parish Council for £1.

Jan Fisher (interviewed HERE) came up with the idea of a book-exchange, as the travelling library no longer comes to the village.

So that's what happened and, as well as receiving a special award of £500 from BT, we've also received a huge amount of publicity (e.g. HERE).

Apart from being a nice example of how media outlets feed on each other for news stories, it raises a couple of intriguing questions.
  1. Why has this seemingly trivial event attracted such widespread interest?
  2. If I put my books in the book exchange, would it damage sales or work like a loss-leader and encourage readers to buy copies for colleagues, friends and relations?

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