It has been installed on the waterside at Brentford Gauging lock. The bookshelf, which was supplied by nearby MSO Marine boat yard, encourages people to leave books for one another to borrow and read. Titles currently range from recipe books to Tolkien.
It comes at a time when research from the Trust shows that people are happier and healthier when they are next to water, yet only 30 per cent of people who live near a waterway come for a visit.
Darren Starling, Trust towpath ranger, said: "The Grand Union Canal in Brentford is a brilliant place to spend some time. Typically people will boat, or walk, run or cycle. It can also be a great place to sit and read, so hopefully the book shelf goes a little way to encouraging people to do just that.
"Our research tells us that people relax more and are generally happier when they're by water, so it's a great space to escape the busy streets. A big thanks to our volunteers and MSO Marine for their help getting it installed."