Oxfam Bookshop, Petergate York

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

3 Unique Advent Calendars

If you’re looking for something a little different than your standard milk chocolate this year, look no further than our Oxfam sourced advent calenders! We’ve chosen three great ones that you can buy in store or through the Oxfam online shop, that will bring the festive spirit into your home as well as raise money for those in need this time of year.


Paper House Advent Calendar, £3.99


This advent calendar made from FSC reponsibly sourced paper is not just a Christmas countdown, but also makes a great mantlepiece decoration too. Behind different items of furniture there are beautifully illustrated festive treats, and the design means that whether you display it open or closed it’s stunning inside and out.


Divine 70% Dark Chocolate Advent Calendar


For those who still want a chocolate treat but maybe don’t have as much of a sweet tooth, this Divine dark chocolate advent calendar is perfect. Dairy free and vegan, too, behind every door is a small piece of organic fairtrade chocolate and an animal fact.


Advent Candle


Although these aren’t currently online they are available in our Petergate shop. Advent candles are a great way to count down December by lighting it every night of advent until the candle completely melts away. A great excuse to give your living room a cosy atmosphere with candlelight, an advent candle also means there’s no packaging left to dispose of at the end, so one less thing to get binned in the Christmas day clean-up.



Our Christmas window display is here!

You may have noticed if you’ve walked past the shop in the last week that we’ve fully embraced the cold weather and gotten into the festive spirit.

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We’ve decorated our mini Christmas tree with Oxfam sourced decorations, which you can pick up for yourself in the shop, along with a lot of other festive treats. All the presents you see in the window are also wrapped in Oxfam gift wrap, as well, so if you do see a design you like don’t hestitate to come in and ask where you can find it.

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We’ve also created a display of recommendations, either as a gift for a book-loving friend, or something for yourself to curl up under a blanket with this winter.

We’ve also got exiting new Oxfam Unwrapped gifts, cookbooks, food items, and a whole host of different things on our online store, so be sure to check in with us while you start planning your Christmas shopping this year!

We’re also going to be continuing our 12 Days of Oxmas series for the third year running, so check back at the end of November to see some great detailed Christmas present recommendations!

Online Book of the Week: Disobedient Objects

Our online book of the week this week comes in the form of an exhibition catalogue of the 2014 Diobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The exhibition mainly explored the use of objects in movements for social change, and how the ingenuity and creativity of political activists transformed objects into powerful tools for protest and progress.

As well as adapted every day objects, items from grassroots groups from across the world were displayed, such as banners, defaced curancy, political games, designs for barricades and protest artworks.

The focus lies on objects from the 1980s to present day, with all protests around the world still in recent living memory and covering protests over issues which are still ongoing today.


This exhibition catalogue can be found and is available to buy through our website here.

New Christmas Stock!


Now that it’s November we’ve started to feel the festive spirit, and we now have a fantastic range of Christmas cards and seasonal gifts in store!

We’ve got a range of cards from bumper multi-packs to beautiful individual ones, printed on sustainable card with proceeds going towards fighting poverty and hunger across the world.


We’ve also received advent calendars, advent candles, chocolate coins, and other small gift items, perfect if you’re wanting to get a jump on the Christmas shopping rush. There’s also some fantastic handmade and fairtrade reindeer and elephant tree decorations, which not only add something unique and special to your tree but also supports an independent felter.

Be sure to pop into the shop and pick up some Christmas essentials!


Give a Shift: Donate your time this winter

Although we’re always looking for volunteers at our Petergate shop, did you know that over the busy winter period you can also volunteer for a one-off shift?

November and December are always the busiest times of year for any shop, especially for us in York as everyone flocks to the city to do some Christmas shopping. Although with everyone’s busy schedules you may not have time for a weekly commitment to volunteering, if you have a spare weekend or even afternoon to lend a hand in the shop it can make a huge difference to help raise even more money for Oxfam at this time.

Whether you’re a student home for the holidays, have some time off work, or just want to try it out for a few days, working with Oxfam is a great boost for your CV, helps a charity working to end poverty, and lets you meet new people in a friendly environment.

If you’re interested, you can e-mail us at or give us a call on 01904 652749.

Online Book of the Week: Decorative Vintage Book Stack

For this week’s online book of the week, we’ve chosen something a little different – although still a book, our decorative book stacks are purely for looking rather than reading.


We try our best to give the donated books a new lease of life on someone else’s bookshelves, but unfortunately some are not always suitable for this due to wear and tear or pages being missing. That’s the case with these books – although their contents might not be perfect, they’re still lovely in the way that all vintage hardbacks are.


Colour co-ordinated and tied with a ribbon, these stacks could act as bookends, a table centrepiece, or just a way to add a splash of colour and vintage charm to a room.


You can order this stack for just £19.99 from our website, and keep checking for new colours and themes!

Online Book of the Week: Gay Fairy & Folk Tales

This week’s online book of the week is Gay Fairy & Folk Tales by Peter Cashorali. A follow up collection from the author’s first fairy tale book, this is a collection of fairy tale re-tellings, in a world where the love between two men has always been normal, but with the thirteen short stories exploring issues relevant to the contemporary gay man such as beauty, care-giving, mortality and the HIV crisis, grief, and self-identity.

The stories draw on sources from traditional western fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, as well as exploring folklore from across the world under an LGBT lens. Published in 1997 the issues explored in this book encapsulate a moment in a community’s history in a whimsical but thoughtful manner.

Gay Fairy & Folk Tales is available through our online store at AbeBooks for £25.

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.

New Oxfam Unwrapped Gifts

In store we’ve had some exciting new editions to our Oxfam Unwrapped gift range! If you haven’t already heard of Oxfam Unwrapped, they are donations that can be made in someone else’s name to a specific cause, making it a personal and impactful choice of present for a loved one.





A gift that quite literally keeps on giving, this gift buys a pig for a farmer which gives them so many avenues to sustain themselves and to start a business. Manure can be sold or used to fertilise other crops and piglets can be sold to other farmers to pay for food and schooling, making it a perfect gift for any philanthropic animal lover in your life.


Beat UK Poverty



Although Oxfam is known for helping fight poverty and hunger all over the world, we also provide aid to people right on our doorsteps here in the UK. This gift can help teach people new skills to help them find jobs, ease reliance on over-subscribed food banks, and fund action to push for measures to help fight inequality across Britain.


Combat Climate Change



Although climate change ultimately affects everyone on the planet, it’s affects are already pushing those in poverty into more desperate situations from rising tides, extreme weather, and temperature changes affecting food supplies and crops. This gift helps to teach people about more sustainable and environmentally friendly farming techniques, as well as funds lobbying governments to tackle climate change head on.


Fight Inequality



Inequality is a worldwide issue, from Europe to South America. While the rich get richer those in poverty struggle to afford food and shelter, either because jobs are too scarce or because the jobs they have pay criminally low wages. This gift will help to fund campaigners fighting to make the world a better and fairer place.


You can follow the links to purchase any of these gifts, as well as a huge range of others, from Oxfam’s online store, or they are available at our shop on Low Petergate.


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