Oxfam Bookshop, Petergate York

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



Of the three Oxfam shops in York, we are one of the two that specialise in books. Situated just a short distance from the Minster on Low Petergate, our stock is made up almost entirely from donations. As a result, we have a very wide selection of second hand books, CDs, art prints, stamps and other collectables. There are various genres on offer in the shop - from Classic and Modern fiction, to Poetry and Drama, to Sci-Fi and Fantasy. We also stock Fair Trade foods, gifts, cards, and seasonal items. Visit us today for rare finds, thoughtful selections, and second-hand hard covers of another-man's-treasure varieties.

Shakespeare Book of the Month: Antony & Cleopatra

We’re still celebrating all things Shakespeare here at Oxfam Books and this month we’re loving Antony & Cleopatra -a tragedy of love and duty.

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Believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607, Antony & Cleopatra follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Parthian War to Cleopatra’s suicide.



With love, war and broken alliances and one of Shakespeare’s most complex female characters. The protagonists have been described as noble, petty, wise and foolish, with Shakespeare maintaining both an ironic and heroic tone.


Make sure you pop into store to pick up your copy or any other works by Shakespeare – we’ve got plenty to choose from!


York in Bloom!

York is looking even more beautiful than normal at the moment thanks to this glorious heatwave and the wonderful Bloom! festival celebrating 250 years of the Ancient Society of York Florists!

Bloom! is a festival for everyone whether you’re a keen gardener or you’re a little bit of a novice, with plenty of free events there’s everything from the Bloom! Science Zone, The Great Window Dressing Challenge, the Bloom! Beer Garden Competition and also a production of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved The Secret Garden at the York Theatre Royal!

picture via Visit York 


Here at Oxfam Book’s Petergate we’re getting in the spirit and showcasing our selection of gardening books so that your home can have the Bloom! treatment too!





Thank You Teacher – alternative gift ideas


The Summer Holidays are fast approaching and many parents and children like to take this opportunity to thank their teacher for all they have done over the last academic year.  Now, I am sure teachers love receiving chocolates and bottles of something, but realistically how many new mugs might someone potentially acquire over a career in teaching?  We’ve come up with some alternative gifts, which are just a little bit different.

Reusable Coffee Cup
Teachers need coffee (or tea), this is a universal fact.  But with such busy schedules, not to mention the dreaded playground duty; the E-Coffee Cup range is perfect to enable teachers to drink their favourite hot drink on the go.  With a spill proof lid and insulation it’s perfect for messy desks, or interrupted break times.  Prices start from £7.99.


2019 Diary

Yes, an academic 2018-19 diary would seem a logical option for a teacher, but they have home lives too. (I know! Despite popular belief, teachers do not live at school!)  We have a range of 2019 diaries in store now, with prices starting at just £3.99.  This travel themed diary would be perfect for planning their next Summer holidays!


The Gift of Educationunwrapped teacher gift

A fantastic alternative idea would be to thank your teacher with a donation which would provide an education to a child who might otherwise not have had access to one.  Oxfam Unwrapped gifts start at just £5 and can be purchased in store or via our website.  There might be one which ties in with a topic taught throughout the year.  You could even club  together with other parents from the class.



Some Extra Curricular Reading Materials

We have a variety of donated books in our shop, including some recent titles.  Maybe a bit of light reading along with a bar of chocolates would be just the thing to ease gently into the summer holidays.

Thank you teacher printable image



Something homemade

Homemade cakes and biscuits always go down well in the staff room towards the end of term.  A handmade card is always appreciated; though if time is short we have some wonderful Thank You cards to choose from.  Another idea might be as simple as a thank you letter.  We have created some free printable Thank You forms which can be filled in at home and given to your teacher.  We have even made a Teaching Assistant one too!

Download via the links below:

Thank You Teacher Printable

Thank You Teaching Assistant Printable

Volunteer for a year

Looking for something to do now that summer is (finally) here? Perhaps you’re looking for something to keep you busy whilst your home and away from your studies? Or maybe you’re on a gap year and still not quite sure what exactly you’re wanting to get out of it?

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We’ve got a range of roles available and we’re still on the lookout for a Community Engagement Volunteer!

This is an exciting role that would be perfect for someone on a gap year or to do alongside their studies. As a community engagement volunteer you will be helping to raise the profile of Oxfam in the local area, and promote Oxfam Books Petergate’s varied activities. You will have the chance to identify and build relationships with local businesses, job centres, colleges, universities, and other community organisations to increase volunteer applications and source donations.


Although this role is designed for you to work independently you will also be engaging with our events and social media volunteers and working together to create and promote the shop and any activities!

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A background in community engagement, recruitment or anything similar is a bonus, however if this role is something that’s caught you’re eye but you’re completely new to it full training will be given to you!

Alternatively, take a look at our Volunteer Page, to see if we have anything else which might be of interest.  Even if there isn’t, you might have some expertise you could offer us, and in turn we can offer you the chance to develop new skills.  Whether it’s book researching, keeping our shelves well stocked, sorting donations, or updating our social media, we are always on the look out for dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to join the team.

If you are considering a gap year, and would like to commit to some volunteer work as part of it, we would love to hear from you.   For more details please give us a ring on 01904 652749 or even pop us an e-mail at .

Online product of the week: Girls’ Generation – The Boys

This week’s product of the week is something a little bit fun! Girl’s Generation a Korean girl group who have been on the music scene for over a decade. They’re known as “the undisputed leaders of a generation of girl groups”



The Boys is the groups third studio album, packaged in a tin with fairy tale inspired photo cards featuring the members as classic  fairy tale characters such as Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood.


You can order The Boys for just £8.99 from our website, and keep checking for more music from k-pop groups as we’re always adding new bits!



Shakespeare at Oxfam Books Petergate

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: York is truly getting in the Shakespeare spirit and of course we just had to join in and celebrate all things Shakespeare with a brand new window display!

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Brush up on your Shakespeare before seeing a play at the Rose Theatre or come after to fuel that Shakespeare fix, we’ve got plenty to choose from both in our window and on the shop floor!


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A very Shakespearean summer

Shakespeare is coming to York!
Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean theatre: 25th June – 2nd September 2018 | Tower Street, York!

To get in the Shakespearean mood we’re sharing some fun facts about the famous playwright!

  1. There are no direct descendants of Shakespeare alive today
    Shakespeare’s eldest daughter Susanna had one child Elizabeth in 1608, Elizabeth later went on to marry twice but had no children by either husband, (via the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.)
  2. Most of his family were illiterate
    Despite Shakespeare’s eloquence and flair for the English language, it is believed most of his family were illiterate – as were many in those days. His parents are definitely believed to have been as his father signed his name with a mark. His wife and children also apparently couldn’t read or write either.
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  3. Savvy businessman
    When talking about Shakespeare it’s normally in reference to the 37 plays he wrote, but he was a pretty savvy businessman with a few properties to his name. These properties include New Place (which can still be visited today), a cottage and acres of farm land in Stratford-Upon-Avon and a gatehouse in London
  4. We might have been spelling his name wrong all along
    Spellings of his name vary in different records. The one we use today is the most common however his name was also printed as “Shappere” and “Shaxberd”.IMG_0772 (1).jpg
  5. Shakespeare’s first play was Henry VI. His last play was Henry VIII.

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre is located on Tower Street (YO1 9WD) and performances of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III will be on  from the  25th June to the 2nd September 2018 – for full performance listings visit the Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre  website!


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In-store Spotlight: Ian McEwan

Book adaptions can be hit and miss but when it comes to Ian McEwan they always seem to be a hit, whether that’s Atonement with Keira Knightley or The Child in  Time with Benedict Cumberbatch!

The latest adaption On Chesil Beach starring Oscar nominated Saoirse Ronan is sure to captivate audiences!

Bleecker Street films and Lionsgate

The novel was selected for the 2007 Booker Prize shortlist and has been described as a novel of remarkable depth and poignancy from one of the most acclaimed writers of our time.

Set in the summer of 1962 On Chesil Beach tells the story of newlyweds Florence (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward (Billy Howle) the couple struggle to suppress their worries about the wedding night to come. Edward, eager for rapture, frets over Florence’s response to his advances and nurses a private fear of failure, while Florence’s anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by sheer disgust at the idea of physical contact, but dreads disappointing her husband when they finally lie down together in the honeymoon suite.

Bleecker Street films and Lionsgate

On Chesil Beach is out now and if you’re looking for another fix of Ian McEwan’s incredible writing we’ve got Atonement and The Child in  Time in store!

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Father’s Day: All Wrapped Up

Fathers Day 2018

Father’s Day gifts can be a challenge to find.  For Mother’s Day we can resort to tradition of a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates or a handmade card.  But Father’s Day gifts can require a little more ingenuity!

We’ve come up with our top 5 last minute gift ideas for Dad, and the best thing is they can each be bought for around £5!

1)  Socks  20180606_125358

Ok, so possibly not the most thrilling of suggestions, but ultimately who doesn’t appreciate new socks?  These Gentle Grip socks from Sock Shop are just £3.99 for a pack of three!



2)  Chocolate 

Why not treat your Dad to his own secret stash of chocolate.  Our Divine 100g bars are just the thing!



3)  Books  

Dad’s love to read, and not just so they can have a sneaky snooze on the sofa while ‘reading’ the newspaper.  You’re bound to find something of interest in our non-fiction section, with many items for around £4.99.




4)  Smellies

They may not admit it, but we’re sure Dad’s appreciate toiletries too.  We now stock a range of vegan, cruelty free soaps and shampoos, which make fantastic gifts.  Prices start from just £1.69.


5)  A share in a farm….20180606_125329

No, seriously!  If you are really struggling for ideas, you could always have a look at our Oxfam Unwrapped gifts.  Why not buy a share in a farm yard for £5 and change the life of a family living in poverty.  You can pop in to see us at Oxfam Books Petergate, in York, or visit the Oxfam website to find out more about our Unwrapped Gifts.


And if all else fails you could have a look at Oxfam’s Father’s Day Gift Guide on Oxfam Online.

Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be appreciated.  As long as Dad can still have a snooze on the sofa.


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