You can’t judge a book by its cover

Once I realised that heady amounts of freelance work were not going to come my way in Deepest Sussex, I decided to make myself useful.

I looked around and saw the Oxfam bookshop was looking for volunteers.

I had always liked the idea of working in a bookshop but I thought more in terms of a venerable shop, owned and run by a venerable white-haired man with wonky venerable floorboard and lots of rare volumes.

Oxfam, I thought, would be more John Grisham (who actually is a great writer) at one end of the shelf and Joanna Trollope at the other.

I know that sounds snobbish but, be honest, what do you think when you think ‘charity bookshop’?

Anyway, we were both wrong.

It is fascinating – a whole lot more complex and interesting than I had thought.

If you become my regular reader, you will hear more about the Oxfam bookshop but here is just a taster.

Somewhere in the not too distant geography, there must be a retirement home for clergymen ( and perhaps some women) and they die. This means that every now and then we get a large donation of religious books: A Prayer for Every Day for Young Folk; Where Jesus Lived – 100 Images of the Holy Land; Finding God in the Countryside……

About one in three of these collections has a copy of he Karma Sutra ( with illustrations.)

At first I was surprised, now I look for it.

On that note, I found a book the other week called ‘A Fanfare of Strumpets.” Isn’t that a brilliant book title?

Whilst we are on the subject, we have a collection ( gathered from various donations) of 19th and early 20th century (mild) erotica. We have been wondering whether we could contact the other Oxfam bookshops in the area and ask them to send us what they get – they cannot , obviously, sell them in their shop – so we can amass a collection and sell to a dealer.

Petersfield Porn Emporia………….

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