If you’ve been in St.Albans Oxfam Bookshop, then you’ll already know what a gem it is.
Innocuously placed on Catherine Street just away from the hubbub of the High Street shops, immediately you walk in you feel its aura. There’s quiet, tasteful music and smiling, knowledgeable assistants. Everything is well ordered – no random book jumble sale this.
Shop manager, Hilary, told Environment Matters listeners how the fiction sections were very popular – both modern and classic – and with such a good range, all reasonably priced, it’s not surprising. There are even collections of books for book groups.
There are current books and antique rarities, children’s favourites and unusual collectors items, books for everyday and that special something that will make a wonderful gift. And that extends not just to books but also their music section, with some very sought after vinyl.
If there’s something in particular that you are looking for then staff will keep an eye out for you and let you know when a copy comes in.
In the 75 year old Oxfam tradition, the shop recycles books, protecting trees and reducing waste, makes books more accessible to those with less money and raises funds for the poverty alleviating work that Oxfam is carrying on throughout the world.
When asked if the bookshop might be over taken by the digital age, Hilary proudly explained that they sell books online too, but having seen how customers relish the opportunity to browse through this box of delights with the scent of old books and gentle bookshop sounds around them, I think the shop will be popular for a while yet.