Oxfam Bookshop, Petergate York

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


Books, Books, Books

Book Signing with C.L. Spillard – Saturday 28th October

C.L. Spillard will be signing copies of her debut novel ‘The Price of Time’ in our store on Saturday 28th October! It will run from 10am to 2pm.

‘The Price of Time’ is a surreal fantasy set in York in a world which parallels – but reflects – our own. ‘Some people have a guardian angel. Some aren’t so lucky. What if you discovered that for decades you’d been stalked by a guardian devil?’ 


C.L.Spillard’s short stories have appeared in Mad Scientist Journal, Daggerville Games ‘Hall of Fame’ and the forthcoming anthology ‘Steampunk Universe’.

Money made from this signing will be donated to Oxfam! Find the facebook event page here.


Celebrating World Food Day

Every year on the 16th October, every member state of the UN celebrates World Food Day. The aim is to raise awareness of the global hunger crisis and to raise money for aid, as 1 in 8 people (842 million in total) suffer from chronic hunger.

Oxfam is dedicated to ending extreme poverty and world hunger, so although there are many ways you could raise money on world food day, you always have the option of browsing through our selection of cookbooks online or in store to find something you can buy to support the cause.


Palestine on a Plate

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We’ve already mentioned this excellent Palestinian cookbook on the blog, but if you missed it, Palestine on a Plate is Joudie Kalla’s ode to traditional middle-eastern cooking, full of healthy, colourful recipes and stunning food photography, printed on ethically sourced paper.


Living Food

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Daphne Lambert’s Living Food is not just a cookbook, but a guide to living and eating with the changing seasons, with simple, healthy recipes designed to put you back in with mother nature’s rhythm. Eating more seasonally means a healthier body and healthier planet, plus it reduces the carbon footprint of your food and means the ingredients you use will be cheaper and tastier.


The World’s Best Spicy Food 

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A new book from Lonely Planet Food, this book contains recipes for tasty and spicy dishes from around the world. Each recipe comes with a breakdown of the cultural background of each food, the history and uses of the ingredients, as well as beautiful illustrations to accompany each one.




A cookbook and memoir rolled into one, Handmade brings together the stories of 34 Sri Lankan women before, through, and after war through recipes and food. With a story and exquisite photography accompanying each recipe, this book brings hope to the reader and nourishment of the body and soul.


And if none of these take your fancy, we always have a great rotation of second-hand cookery books in store, where you can grab yourself a bargain and learn how to feed yourself as well as your money going to help feed somebody else.

Online Book of the Week: Coldplay Twisted Logic Tour Programme

This week’s book of the week is a programme from Coldplay’s 2005 Twisted Logic tour, after the release of their album X&Y.

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Not only is this a great collectors piece for any fan of the band, but 2017 marks 15 years since Coldplay and Oxfam started working together.

Chris Martin, Coldplay’s lead singer, first travelled with Oxfam in 2002 to Haiti, and since then Oxfam have joined them on each of the band’s worldwide tours, campaigning and raising awareness of the work that Oxfam does with thousands of fans at concerts.

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In 2016 Oxfam campaigners launched the Stand as One campaign to highlight the need to help and protect people forced to flee conflict and disaster. So far 32,000 Coldplay concert goers have signed up to the campaign. If you’re interested in the work Coldplay and Oxfam do together, you can read more on the Oxfam website.

If you want to buy this programme, it’s only £30 on our online shop, with the money going to Oxfam and showing love for a band which has supported us for the last 15 years.

Moomin Stories for Oxfam



Tove Jansson’s Moominvalley stories have delighted generations of children and adults, and we are very excited to launch a special edition copy of the classic Moomins story, ‘The Invisible Child’, along with other Moomin merchandise.

The timeless story of a girl, so self-effacing that she’s literally invisible, and how she regains her voice and confidence, will raise funds to help women and girls fight inequality and end poverty worldwide.

Out of every copy sold for £4.99, the entire cover price goes to Oxfam.

Sophia Jansson, Tove’s niece and head of Moomin Characters, visited Rwanda this month with Oxfam to see first-hand the impact of our work helping to lift women and girls out of poverty. Amongst other projects, Sophia visited pineapple co-operatives, where women have seen a vast increase in their income and are now able to send their children to school and pay for healthcare by growing and selling the fruit.



The book is on sale now, along with a tote bag, in selected Oxfam stores as well as Oxfam’s Online Shop.  We currently have a few copies remaining at Oxfam Petergate, so grab yours before they disappear.


It’s Our Birthday!

This month Oxfam is celebrating its 75th birthday.  At Oxfam Books Petergate we have a new window display featuring archive images of the work Oxfam has been involved in over the last seven decades.


On 5 October 1942, a small group of people came together for the first meeting of the Oxford Committee For Famine Relief.  Seventy-five years later the committee which met in a church in Oxford has become a network of hundreds of thousands of supporters, and our first shop; a pop-up gift shop in wartime Oxford is now one of 630.


Oxfam shops have been turning shopping into a powerful way to end poverty from the very beginning, and through our Unwrapped scheme, individuals can donate money to a specific project or person in need.

For the first time in history, the end of extreme poverty is in our reach.  Together, over the last 75 years, we’ve made poverty a thing of the past for millions.  But still, in 2017, too many people are kept poor – by issues that are within all our power to solve.  There is enough money, resources and innovation in the world to end poverty for everyone.

So if you are passing by, and fancy buying Oxfam a birthday gift, consider our Unwrapped products which enable you to donate money to  support a project which is close to your (and our) heart .  Whether it’s helping a woman start her own business to support her family, or providing water for an entire village; it would be the perfect birthday gift for Oxfam.


Online Book of the Week: Nemesis the Warlock

Our online book of the week this week is Nemesis the Warlock!

This volume is part of a series of deluxe editions of the highlights of the 2000 AD comic series. This collection focuses on Nemesis, a fire-breathing demonic alien who fights to free the galaxy from tyranny. The story explores the fight between a religious fanatic and a demon, with this series twist being that the demon is the anti-hero of the tale.

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This series launched in 1980, with a story called ‘The Terror Tube’, and ‘books’ of Nemesis’ story were published until 1999.


In striking black and white artwork, this collection brings together the most exciting and significant evens of the series together in one beautifully bound volume.

You can buy this book from our online store here.

6 Reasons to Buy Second-Hand Books

The price.

This is probably the biggest and most obvious reason to buy books second-hand – the price difference. It could be the classic you’re needing for your English class for £1.99, or even a recent hardback release that’s hardly out of the shops (at this very shop I’ve once managed to pick up a pristine hardback copy of Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight three months after it was published for £5.99!). Especially if you’re an accomplished reader, buying books second-hand will make a huge difference to your wallet.


The Environment.

If you’re buying used books, no new resources have to be put into the production, such as the ink, paper, glue, and storage, meaning second-hand books have a much smaller carbon footprint. Also if, like a charity shop, the stock is entirely from donations, the books will have travelled a shorter distance to get there, rather than everything being shipped from a huge warehouse.


Finding notes in the margins.

This may be a controversial one as some people love to keep every book pristine, but sometimes finding an personal inscription or little note between the pages adds so much character to a book. It’s lovely to read why someone thought their friend would love that book as a Christmas present, or which passages meant a lot to the previous owner, or even realising someone has studied this novel for a class and jotted down some thoughts and impressions throughout a chapter.


The pressure is off to keep it pristine.

Again this may be a controversial one for people who love to keep their books neat, but with used books, generally the spine will already be cracked (unless it was unread or came from a particularly careful owner). This means that there’s no need to be quite as careful as you would with a brand new book – if some of the pages are a little foxed and there’s a few lines down the spine, you can throw it in your bag or prise it open without having that twinge of guilt.


Finding something new.

If you’re used to ordering books online or going into a physical bookshop, generally people go in with an idea of which books or authors they’re specifically looking for. Even if you just have a genre that you enjoy, generally in big bookshops the genre sections are huge, and you can end up browsing through the same sections and recent releases over and over. In a second-hand bookshop you have to really explore all of the titles they have to offer, meaning you’re more likely to find something you’ve never heard of whilst searching through the fiction section. The books can also be from any time period, not just recent releases or best sellers, meaning there will be stories you literally can’t find anywhere else.


It goes to a good cause.

In the case of charity shops like ours, money raised from the sale of used books goes towards hundreds of great things all over the world (to see what Oxfam does, there’s some more information here). Not only are you getting a bargain, you’re also helping to make the world a better place through your shopping habits.


Still not convinced to plump for second-hand books? You can always donate your old books to us, and here are some great reasons why.


You don’t even need to come into store to buy books from us, as you can find us on the Oxfam Online Store and AbeBooks as well.


Online Book of the Week: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, 2nd Edition

This week’s online book of the week is something really exciting: a second edition of Tolkien’s legendary The Hobbit. This book was originally published in 1937, where it quickly became a runaway success and was awarded the Carnegie Medal and a prize from the New York Herald Tribune.


Due to the success of The Hobbit, Tolkien was pressed to write a sequel, and so the Lord of the Rings trilogy was conceived. As The Hobbit was set before this trilogy, the second edition contains some small but significant changes to the first, so as the two stories would more closely link together, and gave Tolkien the opportunity to refine his presentation of Middle Earth.


Since its first publication, The Hobbit has never gone out of print. It has been adapted for stage, screen and radio multiple times, and has been translated into 59 languages. It is an extremely well loved novel of people of all ages, and this edition is no exception.

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A previous owner has written the names of Biblo and his travelling companions using dynotape on one of the blank pages, showing how well-loved this book has been.

You can buy this copy of The Hobbit from our online shop here.

In-Store Spotlight: Henry James

If you’ve visited our store over the last few weeks, you may have noticed our display dedicated to American author, Henry James.


Henry James (1843-1916) relocated to Europe as a young man, achieving British Citizenship in 1915, one year before his death. Many of his novels deal with the social interplay between Americans, Brits, and central European characters, in novels such as The Portrait of A Lady, The Ambassadors, and The Wings of the Dove. James was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature three times, in 1911, 1912, and 1916.


As well as some beautiful leather-bound and early hardcover editions perfect for any collectors shelves, we also have many paperback editions of James’ work, perfect for dipping your toe into his engaging and exciting novels.


You may have also heard radio play adaptations of some of James’ more famous works this summer on BBC Radio 4, showing how much his novels are still relevant and talked about today.

We’re also currently looking for more donations of classic literature in store – find out more here.

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