This summer will mark 10 amazing years since Acton Central gained its own book swap and in that time many thousands of books have been donated to be read by commuters using the popular Overground station that takes commuters on journeys towards Stratford and Richmond and back again.
“I started the book swap at Acton Central just in time for the London Olympics in 2012,” organiser Sara Nathan told Ealing.News. “I had been wanting to do it for ages and that seemed a good moment when people would be travelling the Overground a lot and would have time on their hands. The project gives people something to talk/think about apart from their journey and its frustrations – which is why I think the station staff like it, it makes people civil.”
Sara explained the origins of Acton Central book swap: “It came about as a project of the Churchfield Community Association (CCA) and it’s supported by the CCA and local community.”
Launched in time for the 2012 London Olympics, the popularity of the book swap has even seen a second bookshelf mysteriously appear. “Not sure where the second bookshelf came from, I sourced the first one, but it’s lovely when they are full,” Sara revealed.
So what have been the book hits and book misses that have graced the shelves at Acton Central.
“We have had surprisingly few copies of 50 Shades Of Grey which I thought would be dumped in numbers,” said Sara. “Also almost the only thing that was never, ever taken and eventually had to be recycled was a set of philosophical journals published in the 60s and in German! Apart from that, someone will give a home to anything. And we have had squillions of languages: French, Dutch, Polish, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian and many others.”