Oxfam Bookshop, Petergate York

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


Books, Books, Books

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

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.


Everyone Has the Right to Pride – #YorkPride

Individuals have a basic right to a sexual orientation and to a gender identity.

Homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are some of the root causes of sexism and inequality in the world. Oxfam supports partner organisations in advancing LGBTQ+ rights worldwide.

In June 2014 Oxfam attended World Pride in Toronto, Canada where they showcased the innovative work done by Oxfam partners’ in advancing LGBTQ+ rights around the world.
Oxfam organised and participated in a variety of events, including hosting  “Break Another Silence”, a speakers panel that brought together leaders from four continents to profile victories in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights worldwide.

Image via Oxfam’s website

Oxfam’s vision is a world in which people can influence decisions which affect their lives, enjoy their rights, and assume their responsibilities as full citizens of a world in which all human beings are valued and treated equally. This is core and central to our work and approach to eliminating injustice and poverty.


Pop along to Oxfam Books Petergate to find out more, and see how we are celebrating York Pride in store!

York Pride 2018 is on Saturday 9th June.  The parade sets of from York Minster at 11:45am.  #FlagItUp


#YorkPride – LGBTQ+ authors

We’re celebrating Pride at Oxfam Petergate so today we’ll be sharing with you 10 authors you may or may not know identify/identified as LGBTQ+


  1. Virginia Woolf – English writerIMG_0353.jpg
  2.  Jackie Kay –  Scottish poet and novelist
  3. Alice Walker – American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist
  4. Oscar Wilde – Irish poet and playwrightIMG_0357.jpg
  5. Truman Capote –  American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor
  6. Tennessee Williams –  American playwright
  7. Colm Tóibín – Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poetIMG_0356 (1).jpg
  8. Langston Hughes –  American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist
  9. David Levithan – American young adult fiction author and editor
  10. Juno Dawson – British author of young adult fiction and non-fiction on LGBT issues






Join us at Oxfam Petergate where we will be celebrating York Pride in store!


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