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Leave a Book on a Bench | Ideas for Action

Angel Eduardo

A book on a bench in Budapest, Magdolna Rózsa's pet project.

"Because I love to read books which touch my heart, and I have plenty of them, I thought it would be great to share them with strangers," says Magdolna Rózsa, one of the idealists behind the Book on a Bench campaign, which plans to leave books on subway and park benches throughout her native Budapest. "And after they read that book, they can share it with others."

But this isn't a typical book unhaul. Each book has a hand-written message inside, encouraging the finder to not only enjoy the book, but also to spread the love by leaving it for someone else. "I'll write a little note in these books," Magdolna says, "and also ask them to write their name and some thoughts about the book. This way, it will be more personal."

Magdolna and fellow idealists leave books on benches throughout their community in Budapest.

Magdolna, whose main focus is Tükörkép Műhely, a salon that offers free beauty treatments to to clients from a local Family Care Center, is always looking for other ways to do good in her community. She is also focused on spreading the word and expanding her Book on a Bench project. 

"I made a group named 'Könyv a padon,' which means, 'Book on the Bench,'" Magdolna said in a post for the Idealists of the World Facebook group. Through the online group, she hopes to not only encourage others to leave books on benches in their own communities, but to follow the story of each book as they go from place to place and person to person. "If somebody finds my book," she says, "they can post about it in this group. And after they've finished reading the book they can also leave it on a bench for someone else."

Angel Eduardo

Angel Eduardo has been published in Newsweek, Areo Magazine, The Ocean State Review, The Caribbean Writer, and Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. More of his work can be found at angeleduardo.com.