VILLAGERS are puzzling over the disappearance of all but one of the books from Chobham’s mini-lending library on Good Friday.

It was at first believed that the shelves of the converted telephone box were cleared on Thursday as an April Fools prank. But the books have not been returned and it seems they were stolen.

The kiosk in front of the village hall in Station Road was found to have just one book left on Friday morning – a copy of Good News told by John, a collection of extracts from the Good News Bible.

People speculated that someone was playing a trick and using the religious book to allude to Jesus’s tomb being found empty.

“I just can’t understand why anyone would want to steal the books,” said borough councillor Victoria Wheeler, who lives near the old phone box. “They’re unlikely to get much through selling them, so why did they ruin something that’s a great community effort?”

Volunteers who look after what is known as the Chobham Book Exchange took the opportunity to spring clean the kiosk and restock it with books kept in reserve. Several villagers donated books to help make sure the shelves were full again.

“I hope that books won’t be taken again, as stealing from a facility like this is not a nice thing to do,” said Victoria.

The traditional red telephone box was donated to the village by BT after it took its payphone away. It was refurbished by parish councillors and a team of volunteers looks after the books.

People can borrow as many books as they like, return them when finished or pass them on to family and friends to enjoy. Donations of books in good condition are welcome but they should not be left on the floor if the shelves are full.

For more information, or to contact the volunteers, visit the Chobham Book Exchange page on Facebook.