Oxfam Bookshop, Petergate York

This is the blog for the Oxfam Book Shop on Low Petergate in York

The Vikings are back!

In 9th century Britain, Viking settlements were growing and popping up all over the country, on  the 1st November 866 Ivar the Boneless invaded York and alongside King Halfden they shared out the land and renamed the city Jorvik.


This half term the Vikings are back! From the 12th to the 18th February the city of York will be celebrating the 34th Jorvik Festival and here at Oxfam Petergate we’re joining in the celebrations!


We have a varied selection of Viking themed books in our window both non-fiction and fiction! Feel free to swing by and take a look and delve deeper into the world of Vikings and Jorvik!


Whilst you’re browsing we have free colouring sheets available in our children’s section to keep your little Vikings busy and out of trouble!



We’re online!

For those times when you just can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in store, why not try looking online? Not only do we have a range  in store but we’re also on AbeBooks and Oxfam Online Shop – perfect if you’re on the hunt for something specific!

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AbeBooks: Here we stock our more unusual, rarer books, so if you are looking for something harder to come by why not check if we have it here?

Oxfam Online Shop: Here we stock a range of items on this shop not just books! We also have, for example, video games, board games, films and music and even sports and theatre memorabilia! Why not take a look on the Oxfam Online site?

With all proceeds going to Oxfam why not have a look and see if you can spot something special?

Love is in the air

February is finally here!  A month of pancakes and Valentines chocolates!

However, if you fancy something a little different this Valentine’s Day, we are running our Blind Date With A Book event!wp-1517418590509.jpg

We have selected a range of fiction books, and for a small donation of £2, you can choose your mystery read.  Though it may not actually be ‘mystery’.  It might be a romance, crime or adventure story to whisk you away.

These Blind Date Books make great alternative Valentine’s gifts too.  While you’re here, have a look at our range of Valentine’s Cards and Divine Chocolates too.

Alternatively you could grab one of our Unwrapped gifts, to really share the love.

Who’d have thought, we could be you’re one-stop-shop for Valentine’s Day!


Happy Birthday Elizabeth Bennet

205 years ago Jane Austen’s famous novel Pride and Prejudice was first published, all those years on and the book is still well-loved all over and we just can’t get enough of the Bennet sisters and Mr Darcy.

It's one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it's another thing to make a portrait of who they are..png

Here are five things you may or may not know about this beloved novel:

  1. Pride and Prejudice was published anonymously.prideprejudice2
    Jane Austen’s name wasn’t on her novels until after her death, instead they would say “By a Lady” and the title page of Pride and Prejudice said, “by the author of Sense and Sensibility.”
  2. Pride and Prejudice has been adapted hundreds of times
    This one we all know, there’s at least eleven film and TV adaptions, who could forget Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in 1995? Or even as Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones Diaries film trilogy? It seems we can’t get enough of Lizzie in any form – fighting zombies? Check! Running her own Youtube channel? Check!
  3. Mr. Darcy was real?
    It is rumoured that the character of Mr Darcy was based on Austen’s love interest, Thomas Lefroy, an Irish lawyer who she had a brief friendship with over the winter of 1795/1796.

  4. The format was a little different when Jprideprejudice3ane Austen first wrote the novel
    Like many of her early works, Pride and Prejudice was originally told in letters,  a common style at the time!
  5. Pride and Prejudice was the family favourite!
    Jane Austen often read excerpts for feedback, and her close family and friends loved this novel as much as the public do.

Help end poverty for good

We are looking for a community engagement volunteer, someone enthusiastic and committed who will work with our Shop Manager to recruit more volunteers to join us here at Oxfam Petergate and join the global movement to end poverty for good!
Do you have a passion and enthusiasm about volunteering and Oxfam’s values and an understanding of the factors that motivate people to volunteer? Or perhaps you have experience of working on own initiative and as part of a team with an enthusiastic and positive approach to supporting teams?

If you said yes to any (or even all) of these perhaps you’d interested in the role, we’re looking for someone who can:

*Identify and build relationships with local businesses, job centres, colleges, universities, volunteer bureau and other community organisations to increase volunteer applications

*Utilise social media and other approaches to reach a diverse potential volunteer base

*Investigate advertising opportunities through multiple and varied channels

*Organise and attend local recruitment events

*Work within Oxfam’s key values of Accountability, Empowerment and Inclusiveness

*A background in recruitment or HR would be an advantage but not essential*

Becoming a community volunteer provides all sorts of experience  working for a non-profit charity organisation, it will also help give your CV a little bit of a boost! This role is also the perfect opportunity to help Oxfam’s mission of achieving a just world without poverty!


Just one shift a week will help raise crucial funds for Oxfam’s work coming to the aid of people living in poverty across the globe. 58% of Oxfam’s current volunteers give 4 hours a week or less and shifts can be flexible to suit you!

So whether you want to improve your CV, explore your interests, do your bit to fight poverty, contribute to the local community or just meet a wonderful bunch of people, make giving a shift here your New Year’s Resolution!



7 things you probably didn’t know about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein


This month sees the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Originally entitled, The Modern Prometheus, it is a story that many people know, or think they know.

For example people often assume that Frankenstein is the name of the monster, when it actually refers to the monster’s creator, Victor Frankenstein.  But how many of these facts were you aware of?

  1.  Mary Shelley was only 18 years old when she wrote the book, and just 20 years old when it was published.
  2. It was originally published anonymously in 1818.  Five years later it was published under her own name.
  3. Mary Shelley was made a widow when her husband, poet Percy Byshe Shelley drowned at sea.  She was just 24 years old.
  4. Frankenstein was written while she and her husband were staying with poet, Lord Byron in Geneva.  Byron has set his guests the challenge of writing a horror story.
  5. Mary Shelley was inspired to write Frankenstein after the image of a man kneeling beside his hideous stretched out creation, came to her in a dream.
  6. The depiction of the monster with bolts in his neck began in the 1931 film, Frankenstein.
  7. Frankenstein has featured in well over 55 films and continues to be replicated on screen and throughout popular culture, becoming an enduring horror character.

So if you fancy delving into this classic gothic horror novel, why not pop along to your local Oxfam book shop to see if they have a copy.

At Oxfam Books Petergate in York, this copy was recently spotted lurking in the shadows of the Classics section.

Pop in to see us at 69 Low Petergate, York or have a look for all things Frankenstein at Oxfam Online.


Superhero films have seen such a rise in popularity over the past few years and with so many new and exciting films to see in 2018 it’s hard not to feel spoilt for choice!

There’s Marvel’s Black Panther film in February and Avengers: Infinity War in May, the latest film in the Avengers series! Or maybe you’re more of a DC fan and the Aquaman film set to release in December has caught your interest?



Whoever and whatever you’re a fan of why not pop into store and get your superhero fix before you see the films with our growing collection of comic books – from Marvel to DC as well as more independent comics we’ve got something for everyone, from superheroes to Star Wars!



You can find all our comic books in stand in the middle of the shop floor at our Low Petergate shop!

Have a clear out and help beat poverty


The beginning of a New Year is a fantastic time to have a good clear out.  Filled with the enthusiasm a New Year can bring, it can be very uplifting to rid yourself of things which you have maybe hung on to for longer than necessary.

We often set ourselves goals at this time of year, so why not tackle that forgotten bookshelf that has been gathering dust, or that box of books you brought home from University but haven’t found space for.

Holding on to things can make us feel low.  Equally, letting things go can be extremely uplifting!  Whether your a striving for a minimalist lifestyle, feel bad for not quite getting round to reading those books you were given for Christmas three years ago, or just want to make room for new things (and my ‘things’ we mean books!), a clear out is the perfect way to start 2018.


So you have sorted.  You have purged your collection, and have bravely gathered the books which you are going to let go.

Now what?

books wanted poster

Well, one option would be to donate your surplus books to your local Oxfam Book Shop or charity shop?  Oxfam shops are run by volunteers who use their skills and interests to price and display books to the highest standard, to ensure that Oxfam raises as much money to beat poverty as possible.  You could also sign up to Gift Aid, and download the My Oxfam app to be kept up to date with how much money your items have raised!

A fantastic way to start 2018, and it also helps Oxfam with our goals too; tackling extreme poverty.

Oxfam Books Petergate in York are currently looking for the following donations:

  • Classic Literature
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Horror
  • Philosophy
  • Modern Fiction
  • History
  • Classical and Jazz CDs

Feel free to drop your donations with us at 69 Low Petergate, York YO1 7HY, or give us a ring on 01904 652749 if we can be of further assistance.

Bring on the New Year and Volunteer

The New Year brings a fresh start and with the 1st January landing on a Monday, 2018 already feels more like a clean slate! Maybe you’ve already got your 2018 goals jotted down – read more books, get a new hobby, be healthier, have a big clear out and donate to a charity.  Perhaps you’ve been toying  with the idea of getting involved in volunteering?

goals for 2018 new year blog post

Perhaps you’re a student looking for something to do in between lectures, or maybe you’re looking for something that will get you out of the house once or twice a week and meeting a range of new and different people. Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to give your CV that little extra boost. Whatever your reasons, volunteering for a charity like Oxfam not only are you having the chance to keep you busy, allowing you to meet new people in a friendly environment but you are also helping to bring us closer to ending poverty!

If you’re interested, visit our Volunteering Page to find out about vacancies at Oxfam Books Petergate.  Alternatively pop in to your local Oxfam Shop to find out about volunteering there.


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