Friday, February 11, 2011 - 11:37

The long-awaited Eden Project Café in St Austell opens next week with the launch of a unique, personalised book swap scheme.

It will be one of a range of activities at the low-carbon and sustainable café that will showcase the best of local food, music and art as well as community projects and green living.

Doors open to the public on Thursday, February 17, at 8.45am.

One of the café’s projects is a self-reviewing book swap for book-owners to exchange their favourite literature with each other. Each participant can write a short review in the sleeve of one of their most-loved books, donate the book to the café for other readers, and then pick up another book in exchange.

The scheme is being backed by Eden’s chief executive Tim Smit who is scouring his book cases to choose one of his favourite authors.

Eden café manager Dan Ball said: “We’re looking for books of all types for the book swap. I’m donating Thor Heyerdahl’s The Kon-Tiki Expedition - the incredible adventure undertaken by a man crossing the largest expanse of water on earth on a boat made of a couple of trees bound together with hemp - it’s brilliant.

“If there’s been a book that has inspired you and you feel every other person should read it - now is your chance to spread the word. Let's help make St Austell the book swap capital of the world!”

Books won’t be the only things that can be exchanged at the Eden café. Visitors can bring in home-grown produce and the café will buy it at wholesale prices to use either in café dishes or sell on to other customers.

The Eden Project Café in White River Place will be open everyday during daytimes from February 17 and in the evenings too on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.