Emdad Rahman has now shared his 20,000th book with the people of east London since he began his “book sharing” mission on a borrowed bike during lockdown.

His 'Bookbike' social enterprise started at Barking Learning centre with a donation from his late father and a bicycle borrowed from a friend.

He cycles up to 16 miles a day to share books with families, the elderly and the homeless — anywhere from Romford to Whitechapel. 

“This is a project I started to combine my passion of cycling and books,” he said. “A lot of people don’t have internet but a book or crossword helps them fight loneliness.”

Emdad visits care homes, schools, homeless hostels and areas where rough sleepers gather, with his books donated by friends, colleagues and wellwishers. 

Bookbike London has been running since Zoinul Abidin launched the project at Barking in 2020 to bring books free to communities, making reading accessible to the homeless or people who are isolated or facing hardship. Wellwishers can donate books by contacting Emdad on X, formerly Twitter, via @emdad07.