Made in Hackney: Hackney Downs kids’ charity slips recycled novels into mysterious handmade covers

PUBLISHED: 17:45 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:54 22 March 2017

Under Cover books. Picture:

Under Cover books. Picture:


Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we speak to Amhurst Terrace charity, which is giving second-hand books a new handmade lease of life.

A kids’ charity in Hackney Downs Studios wraps second-hand books inside intriguing, handmade custom covers. buys the books from dealers before flicking through them and coming up with an obscure message for the front cover. You won’t know what book you’re buying till you get it home, but you might get an idea of its subject matter. Examples include “Buy This Book If All Your Favourite TV Is Narrated By David Attenborough”.

The charity’s Bobak Saadat said the “Under Cover” books sell at markets across the East End – including Hackney Downs and Spitalfields. You’ll also find them at the Mouse and De Lotz cafe up the road in Shacklewell Lane.

The proceeds help kids living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa get better access to education.

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