Manager hits back at Stratford Bookswap vandals

Justine Rose, who runs Stratford Bookswap, at the site where shelves were vandalised

Justine Rose, who runs Stratford Bookswap, at the site where shelves were vandalised - Credit: Archant

The manager of a popular Stratford book-sharing service has hit back at heartless hooligans who vandalised shelves the day before Christmas Eve.

Signs were snapped off and a shelf was broken at the Stratford Bookswap, which lets people lend and borrow donated books from inside the busy tube station.

Justine Rose, who runs the service for Books for London, said: “It was just mindless idiots. A lot of swear words were used to describe them.

“The swap had both of the perspex signs that were fixed to the top snapped off and the middle shelf looked like it had been kicked.

“This caused the screws fixing it to the sides to come through the wood.

“We patched it up with gaffa tape, but it’s not really a long-term solution.

“We will need to get a new set of shelves in the new year, as I don’t think it’s fixable.”

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Books for London has no funding and is run entirely by volunteers, so the cost of fixing the damage will have to come from donations and crowd-sourcing sites such as Freecycle and Streetlife.

Justine added that they decided not to contact the police about the incident.

“It’s sad,” she said. “We’ve been here for two years [without probems]. The books are so popular at Stratford.

“The station staff has been really supportive. They all like it, they all use it.”

Anyone who wants to help repair the shelves or donate books should get in touch via the bookswap’s Streetlife page.

Books can also be donated and picked up at Healthy Planet in the nearby Stratford Centre.

For more information about the Stratford Bookswap, visit

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