A MOTHER and son have been left devastated after thieves stole a “library” from outside their home.

Rachael Seddon and her four-year-old son Otis set up their own book borrowing facility inside a set of plastic drawers on the drive of their home in Duxbury Avenue, Little Lever, back in June.

It soon became popular with neighbours, many of whom started donating books of their own.

But, on Friday afternoon, Ms Seddon returned home to discover all of the books had been stolen, as well as the drawers and a sign.

“I do not understand why someone would take them,” she said.

“The books were free. There must have been at least 20 to 30 of them in there.”

Ms Seddon, aged 30, had the idea to start the library so that Otis, an avid reader, could share books with others living nearby.

Neighbours could take books for free and even leave their own.

Whenever new books had been donated, they were shared on a Facebook group called ‘Duxbury Ave Free Library’ to let others know.

Ms Seddon said: “I saw someone had done something similar on Facebook.

“We filled the drawers up with books Otis did not need and said people can just take one or swap one for free.

“My neighbours have been using it and it has got us talking to one another.

“That is something we were not really doing before.

“Elderly people who cannot walk to the library in the village have also been using it.”

When Ms Seddon informed Otis of what had happened, she said he was “really upset”.

She added: “He does not understand why someone would steal it.

“They must have been really desperate if they needed to steal books and a drawer.

“It is a shame because it was out there for two months and there were no problems at all.”

However, the incident has not deterred the pair from starting over again, and a neighbour has already promised to make a lock and chain to help protect any replacement.