SEDBERGH is entering a new chapter as it continues to develop its status as England’s only Book Town.

Bibliophiles in the community, which claims to have the most books for sale per head of population anywhere in England, have created what is believed to be Cumbria’s first ‘Book Shelter’.

The ‘novel’ facility makes use of a redundant bus shelter in the town’s Main Street where locals and visitors have access to four shelves of books.

The Book Shelter can be used as a mini library where books can be borrowed and returned or as a book exchange.

Shelagh Cobb, one of the people behind the project, said it was just one of a number of initiatives to promote Sedbergh’s bibliographical credentials.

“We now have a high reputation as England’s Book Town and many visitors come to Sedbergh from far and wide in order to view our books,” she said.

“However, we need to celebrate and develop our literary visibility more. In addition to the book shelter, many of our cafes will be adding bookshelves and turning in to book cafes and more is in the pipeline.”

Shelagh said there were also plans for a book festival over the first weekend in October on the theme of ‘Landscape and Wellbeing’. A guest speaker will be the Yorkshire Shepherdess and author Amanda Owen.

Residents decided to turn Sedbergh into a Book Town following the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001, which led to a dramatic fall in visitors.

Since then a number of book shops opened, including the huge Westwood Books outlet. Although the recent recession has led to some shops closing, many of Sedbergh’s other shops have continued to stock books.

There is also a charity book shop in the town.