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Publisher to give out free copies of Jewish book to cheer up ‘Blue Monday’ commuters

'I’ve Lived in East London for 86½ Years' will be given to travellers at London Tube stations at the beginning of next week

    Free copies of a heart-warming book about a real-life Jewish East Ender will be handed out to lift the spirits of commuters on “Blue Monday”.

    I’ve Lived in East London for 86½ Years, which tells the story of Joseph Markovitch, will be given to travellers at London Tube stations at the beginning of next week, on what is considered the day of the year when people feel most miserable.

    Staff at the publisher, Hoxton Mini Press, decided to make the gesture when 1,500 copies of a reprint of the book were discovered to have a blemish on the back cover and could not be sold.

    Most books with defects are sent to be pulped, but the publisher’s co-founder Ann Waldvogel said that would have felt “a bit like a supermarket having to throw out perfectly good fruit because each contained a small dimple or blemish”.

    The book, originally published in 2013, will be distributed at Old Street, Liverpool Street, Farringdon and Holborn stations.

    Mr Markovitch, who died aged 86 in 2013, was born and grew up in Spitalfields and left London only once during his life, to visit the seaside with his mother.

    The publisher considers the book, written by Martin Usborne and first released in 2013, to be its most uplifting work on its list, perfect for commuters who need “a small boost on a dark Monday morning”.

    Ms Waldvogel said: “If this helps cheer a few people up - and of course grow some awareness of Hoxton Mini Press and what we do - so much the better.”

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