December 13 2013 Latest news:
by Jon Dean
Friday, October 4, 2013
A abandoned pub reopened yesterday as a free bookshop, run by a group determined to carry out random acts of generosity.
The Kindness Project, in Camden Road, Holloway, on the former site of The Latin Corner pub, aims to give away 100,000 books and is set up by The Kindness Offensive – an organisation that performs “both small and large-scale random acts of kindness”.
The project will work like a library in that people can choose books to take away – but they have no obligation to return them.
The community space has been “utterly transformed”, according to David Goodfellow, a founding member of The Kindness Offensive which now has its headquarters in the same building.
The books are a mixture of brand new tomes straight from publishers as well as books which have been diverted from landfill – with the main supplier of the books being charity Healthy Planet.
Mr Goodfellow said: “The way it will work is that we’re asking that people take away no more than three books each a day. Having said that if someone really wants four or five books I’m sure no one will stop them.
“But it’s completely free of charge. As an organisation we don’t actually accept any donations from the public.
“We have no PayPal button. We don’t have a can that we shake or anywhere that you can put money in.
“All of our stuff is always completely free.”
The project has been set up in response to library closures in other boroughs, and from a “philosophy of getting involved and doing what we can”.
Mr Goodfellow said: “We love libraries. Most of us have been students for a long time, one way or another.”
“We love books. We think they’re really important, and we wanted to do something that actually answered that problem and actually gave something back to fill that void.”
He praised the local community who came together to help decorate and make the space a “lovely, bright, nice place to be”.
Books, he said, occupy a very special place in people’s hearts, and are very precious.
Mr Goodfellow said the project would probably be in place for at least a few months.