Oxfam Bookshop, Petergate York

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

Exploring the Antarctic

Ever wanted to explore the Antarctic like British Royal Navy officer and explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott? How about exploring the Antarctic from the comfort of your bed?

…Well with our new window display you can do just that!

We’ve been so intrigued by the scientists at the Natural History who have revisited Scott’s findings in order to compare his samples to some more recent ones, doing so has provided some new insights into climate change, since Scott and his crew returned home since over a hundred years ago!

During its three-year voyage, Captain Scott and his team discovered more than 500 new marine animals including types of shrimp, star and shellfish and mapped hundreds of miles of unknown coastline.










With these books you don’t have to face the brisk cold of the Antarctic, just pop in store and curl up at home with your new book(s) and a nice cup of tea!


Calling all Beatles fans!

We’ve given our window a fresh new look and themed it all around The Beatles!

Perhaps you’re a life long fan and can remember singing your heart out to All You Need is Love in 1967? Perhaps your childhood memories are of your parents playing their music or perhaps you’re just interested in how four guys from Liverpool seemed to take over the world, why not pop round and see if anything catches your eye!






To celebrate the band here are 10 fun facts you may or may not know about John, Paul, George and Ringo:

  1. The Beatles held the top 5 slots of the Billboard Hot 100 in the week ending April 4th 1964, as well as 7 other positions lower down the chart.
  2. In the UK, The Beatles have topped the charts with fifteen different albums,
  3.  and in America, 20 singles have topped the Billboard Hot 100 and 19 albums that made No.1 in the Billboard album charts.
  4. A Hard Day’s Night is the first album entirely written by the Beatles – all thirteen tracks are by Lennon & McCartney.
  5. It took 129 days and 400 hours of studio time to record and complete Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  6. Among the people who sing backing vocals on All You Need Is Love are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Pattie Harrison, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Keith Moon, Hunter Davies, and Gary Leeds of the Walker Brothers.
  7. As of 2012, the Beatles have sold over 2 billion albums!
  8. The Beatles have spent a record 1,278 weeks on the Billboard chart.
  9. David Bowie’s mega-hit Fame was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
  10. Of all The Beatles albums released in the UK in the 1960’s A Hard Day’s Night is the only one not to feature a vocal from Ringo.
John, Paul, George and Ringo supported Oxfam’s Hunger Million Campaign in 1963, at the height of Beatlemania. Photo by: Press Association

Now you’ve refreshed (or learnt) your Beatles knowledge come and pay us a visit – we’ve got books by, about and for The Beatles fans as well as a few CDs for you to choose from!


We Love Vintage Book Covers

Every now and again we’ll discover some gems when going through our donations, including vintage books with some fun and pretty covers!

Rather than displaying them with our other vintage books we thought we’d show them  off in all their glory with their own display where our customers can  properly see them!


We’ve got a range of different genres and authors to explore, we’ve even got a signed book!


Make sure you pop in and have a look at our new display of old books!


The York Chocolate Festival

What’s the perfect treat to go alongside a good book? For us we’re always reaching for a cup of tea and some chocolate, so the York Chocolate Festival sounds just perfect!

The city of York has had a long history when it comes to confectionery and chocolate, back in 1781 the city boasted 8 confectioners for its 17,000 inhabitants and today the Nestlé Chocolate Factory still produces millions of Kit Kat’s a day! On a hot day you can even smell the chocolate been made – it’s enough to make your mouth water!


“Why can no one here think of anything but chocolates?”
― Joanne Harris, Chocolat

As well being the home Nestlé, York was once the home of Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Craven’s, yes the beloved Terry’s Chocolate Orange once spent its day in the heart of the city!
Here at Oxfam Petergate we’ve decided to get involved in the celebration of all things chocolate and celebrate by combining our favourite sweet treat with some sweet literature! From recipe books to Joanne Harris’ classic Chocolat and to Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory we’ve got something for everyone!

“In the town itself, actually within sight of the house in which Charlie lived, there was an ENORMOUS CHOCOLATE FACTORY! Just imagine that!
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Pop over and see our Willy Wonka inspired window and from Thursday 29th March to Monday 2nd April 2018 take a quick walk over to Parliament Street where there will be chocolate making and market stall offering a array of chocolatey treats!

The York Chocolate Festival (2)

Sports Relief

This year Oxfam is partnered with Sports Relief!


Sports Relief raises money for critical issues affecting people in the UK and across the world. These issues include malaria, mental health and maternal health. Sports Relief aims to get people raising money through being active in whichever way that person chooses be it cycling, swimming, walking or anything else they decide! Oxfam is selling official Sports Relief wristbands for £1. You can get one in store today! sport relief

Watch Sport Relief on BBC One this Friday! (23rd March 2018)


Giving books a new lease of life

Here at Oxfam Petergate we love books in all shape and form, so much so that we sell stacks of vintage books on our Oxfam Online store!

These are books that are a little bit old, and intended for decorative purposes only, and may not be suitable for reading (i.e. pages may be missing or show signs of significant wear and tear.)  However bundle a handful together and add a bit of ribbon these books can make the perfect addition to your home to add a little bit of decoration to your shelves. Or even use as an alternative door stop, or even as an unusual knife block in your kitchen.


So wherever you’re looking for a gift for a friend or family member (or even yourself) check out Oxfam Online for our range of vintage book stacks! We have books from Charles Dickens, to Johanna Spyri, to Charlotte Brontë all waiting to make that little perfect addition to your home and give a new lease of life to these much loved books



Some new stacks have been added recently so there are even more to choose from!




Who knows? Something magical might happen…

Your Visual Travel Guide



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!


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