Downtown Book Exchange in El Dorado
Downtown Book Exchange in El Dorado. Photo by Joe David Rice.

If you have been to El Dorado recently, you may have noticed that the two red London-style phone booths that are a picturesque part of downtown have recently been converted into book exchanges.

According to information from the El Dorado Insider’s Guide, the phone booths, which have been a staple of Union Square for years, came to the city care of historic preservationist Richard Mason.  The booths, located on the corner of Main and Washington and Main and Jefferson, were initially used as working pay phones, until the need for that technology dwindled. The city started researching what to do with the booths next and decided to go the route of what many of the phone booths in London were being transformed into — miniature libraries.

Book Exchange in downtown El Dorado. Photo by Joe David Rice.

As to the premise of using the book exchanges, no library card is needed. Basically these booths are places you can drop a book you’ve read into and then you can take whatever book(s) are in there in exchange for it. For instance, if you drop two books in, you can take two books out. The whole transaction is based on the honor code. The next time you are in El Dorado, be sure to check out this neat addition to downtown and be sure to browse the book selection. Of note, one of the booths is right across from PJ’s Coffee, a perfect location for those needing a book/coffee break fix. For more information, contact the Barton Library at 870-863-5447.