GENEROUS Argus readers came to the rescue of a village whose phone box library had been hit by thieves - more than doubling the number of books in it.

We revealed earlier this month that more than 100 books stolen from an old fashioned red phone box which had been converted into an honesty library residents of Coed-y-Paen near Usk.

Coed-y-Paen community council paid BT £1 for the box, installed shelves and filled it with books as they do not have a library or a bus service to get to one.

But thieves cleaned out the phone box overnight between August 26 and 27, leaving only Alan Titchmarsh's autobiography Trowel and Error.

After the Argus ran the story, Hilary Jones, 47, a member of Coed-y-Paen's residents association, said they had numerous phone calls offering donations, as well as people dropping books off at the phone box.

More than 200 books have now been donated, allowing the residents association to re-stock the shelves and keep some spare.

They are now politely directing any more callers in the direction of charity shops and any duplicates they have will be donated to charity.

Mrs Jones said: "It's been phenomenal, it's turned out really well and we're so pleased - the South Wales Argus did us proud."

Mr Titchmarsh's autobiography has been put back in the library, but Mrs Jones said it is yet to be checked out.

Gwent Police are investigating the theft and asking anyone with information to call 101.