Stagecoach East and Cambridgeshire County Council are launching a book swap for all the family at the five Cambridge Park & Ride sites on World Book Day (March 2nd).
The Park & Read book exchanges cater for all ages and tastes in a bid to encourage everyone to enjoy the pleasures of a good book during their bus journey or commute.
The literary incentive scheme has been applauded by local authors including children’s thriller writer Julian Sedgwick (the Mysterium trilogy) and popular fiction writer Menna van Praag (The House At The End Of Hope Street, The Witches Of Cambridge).
Heffers book shop on Trinity Street has generously donated 200-plus children’s and adult books to kick-start the book exchange shelves.
Classic children’s titles include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Claudine At St Clares by Enid Blyton, Emil And The Detectives by Erich Kastner, the Belinda And The Bears early reader series by Kaye Umansky as well as Julian Sedgwick’s latest thrillers for 9+-year-olds, Ghosts of Shanghai and Shadow Of The Yangtze.
Adult page-turners include The Matisse Stories by AS Byatt, Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith and Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen to name just a few.
Park & Riders are also being invited to bring in their own pre-loved books to swap for something new.
The Park & Read book exchanges are located inside the site buildings of the five Park & Ride sites at Babraham, Trumpington, Madingley Road, Milton and Newmarket Road.
Zoe Paget, Operations Director of Stagecoach East, said: “The Park & Read book exchanges are an added and very useful extra to help make our passengers’ journeys as enjoyable as possible – and we are extremely grateful to Heffers for their very generous donation.
“Travelling by bus really is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a good book – whether you’re relaxing on your own or out with the kids. That’s something you just can’t do if you’re stuck behind the wheel of a car!”
Campbell Ross-Bain, Cambridge Park and Ride Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Not only is Park & Ride the most cost effective way to travel in and out of Cambridge, it’s now also the most entertaining way to travel.
“We are very grateful to all those who have helped get this very interesting and worthwhile initiative off the ground.” David Robinson, manager of Heffers, added: “We are absolutely delighted to be involved with this fantastic Park & Read campaign. Anything that celebrates and encourages reading is a wonderful thing.”
Popular fiction writer, Menna van Praag, who is backing the initiative, told: "One of the reasons I love public transport is being able to read a book while I travel. I'm a great fan of 'real' books & libraries, so I can't imagine anything lovelier than being able to dip into a new book, or reading one to my children, while travelling to and from our beautiful city."
Author Julian Sedgwick, who is also supporting Park & Read, told us: "As both a writer and a former Heffers bookseller, I wholeheartedly support the Park and Read campaign. There's never been a better time to escape into a story – or, conversely, a better way to find out about other lives and worlds. And still nothing does that better than a book. Grab any chance to read…"