From Iceland — Last Phone Booth In Iceland Is Now A Free Library

Last Phone Booth In Iceland Is Now A Free Library

Published August 10, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Dag­björt Hjalta­dótt­ir

One solitary phone booth is still hanging in there, albeit by also acting as a little “take one, leave one” library.

MBL reports that pay phones were fairly ubiquitous in Iceland about 12 years ago, when there were some 500 of them all over the country. However, with the rise of affordable mobile phones, pay phones slowly but surely began to disappear, with most of them taken out of commission by the end of 2014.

While there are a few pay phones still in working condition around the country (including at least one in Reykjavík, at Bus Hostel), a solitary phone booth in Súðavík has found a new life for itself as a Little Free Library.

The phone booth reportedly still works, but the main attraction here is that visitors are encouraged to leave a book behind to share with others, take one to read themselves, or both. Maintaining operations is grade school teacher Dag­björt Hjalta­dótt­ir.

“I’m a real bookworm,” she told reporters. “I read all day like there’s no tomorrow, and my home is stuffed with books. Opening the library was a little selfish on my part, because I can use it to get rid of some of my books, and take care of reading material for the winter months.”

If you decide to visit the library, try to bring at least one book with you to leave behind there, to keep the tradition going.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!