Calling all book lovers!
This week, along with Hay Festival Digital, we’re celebrating some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers.
Our Oxfam online bookshop is back, and bursting with brilliant books for everyone – with all proceeds helping people and families living in poverty to protect themselves.
Here, we take a look at some of the rare, weird and wonderful books spotted by our fantastic volunteers – as well as some of their recommended reads.
The hidden gems
Our bookshop teams are trained to spot potentially valuable books which often go to auction.
📚 This rare first edition of The Hobbit that dates back to 1937 was found in the Oxfam shop in Chipping Norton in 2018. The author J. R. R. Tolkien wrote the book whilst living in Oxford. It sold at auction for £6,000!
📚 Oxfam volunteers in the Harrogate shop spotted the very first appearance in print of Sherlock Holmes (‘A Study in Scarlet’) in a Victorian annual– it sold at auction for £15,500!
📚 A first edition of Treatise of Commerce by John Wheeler, 1601, was donated to the Oxfam shop in Gold Street, Northampton. The book, published in 1601 and believed to be the only one in existence, went to an anonymous buyer. It raised £21,600!
📚 ‘Rumour at Nightfall’ was an early novel from Graham Greene which he suppressed because he thought it was terrible. It was donated to our St Giles bookshop in Oxford and was spotted by one of our volunteers. It raised £15,000 at auction for Oxfam!
📚 A signed William Butler Yeats was discovered in our Morningside Bookshop in Edinburgh.
signed William Butler Yeats pic.twitter.com/KwpxQ7NVi1
— Oxfam Books EH10 (@oxfambooksEH10) May 19, 2017
Volunteer Bob’s recent read was: “ ‘All Passion Spent’ by Vita Sackville-West. Elegantly written, it stimulates contemplation of what is really important in life.”#lockdownreading #books #oxfamlincoln pic.twitter.com/m8xlkEXhsu
— Oxfam Lincoln Books (@OxfamLincoln) May 1, 2020
Our volunteer, Emma, has just finished reading Circe during her lockdown!
She says “it’s a wonderful feminist read, about strong women and the power of will! I’ve always loved Greek mythology, and it’s so vibrant in this book.”
What are you reading? #lockdownreading pic.twitter.com/0Ft5QcNei9
— Oxfam Lincoln Books (@OxfamLincoln) April 9, 2020
Our volunteer Beth says of this book: “Hope’s writing is an utter joy and completely encapsulates what it means to be a woman today. It is easily the best thing I’ve read this year, perhaps even the last few years.”
— Oxfam Lincoln Books (@OxfamLincoln) April 24, 2020
Looking for something in #ScienceFiction? We can recommend The Martian by @andyweirauthor. It tells the tale of a man stranded on the red planet and must fight to survive using his wits, his sense of humour and a load of potatoes! pic.twitter.com/AVi4hzP2E8
— Oxfam Books Jesmond (@OxfamJesmond) February 21, 2020
The weird and wonderful
“Sometimes it’s the unique, the unusual and the wonderfully odd that feeds our bookish appetites here at the bookshop”
— OxfamBooksMaidstone (@OxfamBksMdstone) September 5, 2019
Today’s Book of the Day, as recommended by volunteer Annabel. Sometimes it’s the unique, the unusual and the wonderfully odd that feeds our bookish appetites here at the bookshop! pic.twitter.com/N6T7ll6pzF
— Oxfam Lincoln Books (@OxfamLincoln) January 15, 2020
— Oxfam Bookshop Hove (@OxfamBooksHove) April 9, 2017
— Oxfam Books Balham (@OxfamBalham) January 28, 2020
Our collection of second-hand books is huge – there’s always something new to discover. Browse over 60,000 new titles, pre-owned novels and second-hand antique books, all available to buy online. We have everything from classic children’s books to fire-side fiction, super sci-fi, travel and history books. We’ve joined forces with Hay festival who will be listing all the books they would have brought to the festival on our online shop.
— Oxfam Hay Festival (@Oxam_at_HayFest) May 22, 2020
We love the ingenuity of our @Oxam_at_HayFest volunteer, Pyrrha. She’s missing the @hayfestival so much, she’s got creative! “I thought I’d organise my bookshelves, which turned into building a fort, which felt even more like the towers of books we have in the containers at Hay!” pic.twitter.com/iY3FUowu5l
— Oxfam (@oxfamgb) May 29, 2020
When you are doing your lockdown spring cleaning, remember to keep your preloved books for us. We have a number of Oxfam book shops that will be needing your donations when they reopen their doors.
Home learning inspiration
Looking for some learning resources for little book worms? Until it’s time for everyone to go back to school, we will be regularly sharing fun and educational activity ideas for ages 7-14 to use at home. These can help young people consider what we all need to thrive, explore what connects us and be inspired to make a difference. For more inspiration, check out the weekly resources on our home learning hub.