Urban Library: a new trend ?


WHAT IF there wasn’t just one library with thousands of books but thousands of libraries with just a few books that you could lend?

WHAT IF you had a library at home and you could play librarian yourself? A little like a Little Free Library but with the difference that the book you lent out would be returned to you and it would always remain YOUR book?

Would you be interested to sign up on one side or the other?

Someone actually came up with this idea and it already exists here in Belgium (in Brussels)!


If you want to check it out, here’s the link to the site: Urban Library

It’s a new site and doesn’t have many subscribers yet but the principle is very simple: you sign up and share one of your books. Other people can find your book and your location through the site and then you just agree on a time for the pick-up, simple as that.

I don’t know how it is in other countries – let me know if you have this in your city –  but over here the English section in a library for example is pretty limited (also a reason that I don’t go to the library) so this is a great idea to get my hands on more English books, or books that are so great that people have bought them but don’t want to sell or give them away permanently.

So what do you think about all this? Yay or nay?

38 thoughts on “Urban Library: a new trend ?

  1. That’s a cool idea, I don’t know if we’ve got a similar thing here in the U.K., I’d be worried the person would take care of my book lol. We have lots of permanent swap sites though and I use them


    • I guess that’s sort of the same but we don’t have swap sites here, and finding other people who read English books is proving to be really difficult. It’s a good remark that you can’t be sure if your book is taken care of like it should but I wouldn’t lend my most precious book and I think it’s a bit of a security that the person has to bring it back too and face whoever lent the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea, but I would never sign up for this.
    The reason – too many times in my life I borrowed my books to someone, and got them back damaged (if I was lucky enough to even get them back).
    People are like that. Sometimes they do not return things, I don’t believe strangers would.

    Other reason is that you give your location, so anyone can come to your home.


    • Valid points, but if this is really used by book lovers, it might be different. You also have to make some real effort here because they are not sent by mail but picked up. I’ve not given it much thought about giving out your location, although I wouldn’t really mind personally. You could always only look for books yourself and not lend any, so it would be at zero risk there 🙂


  3. Really interesting Inge and a great way to share a love of books and get hold of English books you’d like to read without buying them. I suppose safety wise perhaps users could meet up in a coffee shop/cafe if they were worried about people coming to their house.


  4. I’m super selective about lending my books out only because there’s been times I haven’t gotten them back so I don’t think I’d be on board with this idea


  5. I get it!
    Your library is small with selection so I can see why this happened. In the US, we are fortunate with our libraries and we do have the Little Borrow Book things (Leave a book take a book concept) and it remains popular. I think book people have better scruples than most.
    I feel like people on this site would be careful bc it’s a face-to-face meet. You are held accountable. I think that people in your country probably take pride in that aspect too. So I think it’s great for what you guys need: more English reads with a limited library.
    I think the reason us US people are sketch about it is because of all the scams out here. Even though at heart this is a beautiful concept, someone would ruin it here. They would take your book, sell it, and disappear. Give some excuse about forgetting their copy but say they’ll bring it the next day and never show up.
    I am fortunate that I have a library with an excellent selection of YA and they are always willing to order what you need. You guys don’t have that, so I see this becoming really popular. Unfortunately we just can’t do this unless it was done on a small-scale: maybe a small town or with some accountability involved like a deposit. Otherwise we will never see something like that work here. 😕
    It’s too bad, really.


    • We have the Little Free Libraries too (although not everywhere) but they are often books you just don’t want anymore and weren’t so good to start with… Your library would just order what you want, that is amazing. I agree that there really is no need where you live. It is rather sad to think that someone would ruin it for all the rest.. I would take great care of the books and return them as agreed.


  6. What a different idea, I’ve not heard of it before! Although I can’t say I’m a fan of loaning my books out – even to family! I know people wouldn’t intentionally set out to damage them, but accidents happen. Having said that I’m also not a great borrower of books either 🙂


      • Yeah.. I was thinking I wouldn’t mind giving my books to others for reading.. but then I thought… yeah, what if they spill their spaghetti bol on the pages, or what if they rip out some pages… and then I was thinking of all the other germy things.. nope… I don’t want to give my books out either 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. There is something like this in my country. I don’t remember the service but I was signed up for a while with no one nearby so I deactivated my account. But maybe it’s picking up everywhere and maybe others will be making more accounts soon! It sound great!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds engaging! Actually, I was thinking about the time-consuming part of hosting and receiving, but later I realized that I would enjoy having great books for free. In regards, non-sharing public, I believe that there might be a future accordingly to all trends of sharing houses, cars, offices probably even wives, why would sharing a book stop you gaining all the benefits surrounding it(thinking out loud)? Thumbs up, Inge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a great way to have some real contacts with other book lovers. Even in a library you don’t really engage in conversation with others about books (not here anyway). I see signs too, we already have care sharing etc so this might be a logical step too.. Thank you for reading and commenting !


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