BOOKBIKE LONDON has achieved a special new milestone after delivering 3,000 books. Emdad Rahman has been sharing books with keen readers – including the isolated, elderly, ill, and homeless – since starting this simple project in Barking & Dagenham.
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic and two lockdowns, the East Londoner has adapted the project to include delivery of medicine, clothes, toys and food parcels. The 3,000th book was donated by Emdad’s father, who has been a huge inspiration to him throughout his life.
Bookbike London involves Emdad cycling to deliver books to individual readers and to community projects and charity shops. During lockdown the free service has meant a great deal to regular readers who have no access to the internet, few visitors and, in some cases, no TV for entertainment.
Bookbike London now operates in Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney. Emdad has received books from total strangers, new titles from the Barking Learning Centre, The British Library, The London Enterprise Academy and art packs from Studio 3 Arts, among others.
Regular book top-up pit stops include the Victoria Park Community Centre bookshelf, the Chrisp Street Market telephone box and Hoxton Market. Bookbike London also supports the Hedgecock Community Centre with a termly community Book Fair.
Speaking of the achievement, Emdad said, “Dad donated the book which helped us hit the 3,000 mark. His hard-working ethic and grafting has had the single biggest impact on my life.
“Thank you to my family, friends and complete strangers for such fantastic support. We started with a zero budget and still run on a zero budget. #bookbikelondon is powered by the people. We thrive on connecting with our neighbours!”
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