Black Sacks

January seems to be a good time to clear out all your old books. Some of course come brown and damp direct from a garage to our shop and thence, very quickly, to a re-cycling dump.

Some come carefully packed in boxes and then I feel more sad about putting them into white sacks and sending them off to the dump – but we really cannot sell the AA Road Atlas of Great Britain published in 1972.

Others bring in say 10 boxes and ask for the boxes back so we have to de-box all the books there and then – never much fun and they usually arrive five minutes before closing time.

Some come in black bags and when someone rings to say they have a lot of books and will we take them and then say they are in black bags, your heart sinks just as you say, ‘Brilliant, thank you, how many is a lot?’ And you are told, ‘ About forty or more feet of them.’

Well the bags came in and there were a lot. But, and this dear reader is a very rare occurrence, they were absolutely brilliant.

Art books. Lots of art books. All in pristine condition and all interesting – and all very saleable. And even more delightful, the woman who brought them in – clearing out her parents’ house – said she had been directed by them to only bring them to the Oxfam bookshop in Petersfield and be sure to sign up for Gift Aid (which means we get 25% more on every sale from the Government.)

So, having looked them all up and pricing them, we decided to do a window full of art books and as we were piling them up on the table ready to put in the window, people were buying them left, right and centre.

Usually, January in the bookshop is a quiet month – no one has any money left and books – even second hand ones are not high on the priority list.

This amazing gift to our shop has meant we have had a better January than anyone can remember.

So thank you, whoever you are, for getting the books to us. Thank you to your parents for loving art books, caring for them and making sure they got to us. We are never again going to be as despondent when we get a load of black plastic bags.

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