Charlbury Community Bookshop

John Partington
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Tue 2 Apr, 07:56

Suzy, you're very kind .. but we're now fully equipped with bookcases.

(We've so many, excellent, books coming in that we could fill the whole building with bookcases and books .. but we have to be self-controlled. What we need is more customers: if you or anyone else would like to help us with publicity, please let us know.

We're currently making about £250 a month for the Corner House - that's perhaps 200 books sold - and we've the potential stock to double that.)

Suzy M-H
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Fri 29 Mar, 16:57

I have a tall IKEA Billy bookcase going spare. I seem to remember some while ago these were being requested for the Community Bookshop. Can a space be found for it? We can drop it off if it's needed. 

John Partington
👍 4

Wed 22 Nov 2023, 17:26 (last edited on Wed 22 Nov 2023, 17:27)

To add to the rather bookish theme of the Forum at the moment: another update on our Community Bookshop.

Now that modern fiction is being sold elsewhere in the Corner House, our 50p room (the Oliver Watney room, upstairs) is evolving into a really special place for bibliophiles.

Over the last few months I've taken possession of more than a hundred crates (about four thousand books) from a private collection in London.  I'm selling some online, and if I were doing this for a living I'd sell most of them that way, but as it is many of them (worth £5-£10 each by any reckoning, and double that for some of them) are finding their way to the Corner House for 50p each.

Keep looking regularly:  there is fresh stock on the "New In" table almost every day - and some real bargains amongst them.

As Christmas approaches there will be bumper lots of free and cheap (20p, three for 50p) material in the Morris Room.  And on our late-night shopping evening (Friday 8th), I hope to be selling local-interest material, priced from £1 - £100, including some very hard-to-find items.

John Partington
👍 4

Mon 25 Sep 2023, 16:28 (last edited on Tue 26 Sep 2023, 07:36)

An update on our community bookshop.

Over the summer, the books in our popular 50p room upstairs (the Oliver Watney room) have been entirely reorganised.  Within the next couple of weeks the shelves will be more clearly labelled, but until then you can use your initiative to identify the categories. Thank you to Ike, a local student, who spent two days doing that.

Since most of the fiction moved from there to the Morris room (upstairs at the front) we've had room in the Oliver Watney room for a larger selection of older books, classic and quaint.  The stock turns over regularly, with fresh material on the 'just-in' table almost every day, so do pop in often to see what's there.  Almost all the items would cost considerably more than 50p to buy anywhere else, so spend freely .. more stock is still coming in than we can sell.

In the Morris room, as well as a huge range of fiction at £1 (three for £2) we're selling a changing range of other items for 20p (three for 50p).  For the last couple of months it's been railwayana;  now it's a wide range of religion & spirituality.  

We've removed the payment pot from the Oliver Watney room table .. it was being stolen from too often .. so please pay in the green wall-mounted cashboxes in any of the three book-rooms (or for change, or to pay by card, pay downstairs in Cornerstone).

Finally, please remember to put donations of books etc in the Albright room (the old kitchen, downstairs at the back).  Putting them elsewhere makes life more complicated for us.

John Partington
👍 2

Sat 24 Jun 2023, 09:13

Thank you to the thirty or so people who came to support us at our official opening last week:  an enjoyable evening!  The Oxford Mail has a, nearly accurate, write-up of it here.

John Partington
👍 3

Wed 14 Jun 2023, 11:34 (last edited on Wed 14 Jun 2023, 14:21)

Update:  Kirsten & Alexis can't make it, and so it's the B-team - Neil P-W & me.  We've some good, chilled, drink to anaesthetise you, though.

Don't forget this evening's official opening of our fiction bookroom -- the last stage of the expansion of our wonderful Community Bookshop.  6.00 - 7.00 pm in the Morris (upstairs-front) Room in the Corner House:  free wine, beer & soft drinks.

[The honours are (no longer - see above) being performed by Alexis & Kirsten, who run the bookshop in Woodstock (and are regular trade customers of ours, stocking their recently-opened secondhand department).  A & K are also authors in their own right (write?), and K teaches creative writing.]  Our very own Neil Pakenham Walsh, who started the Community Bookshop almost ten years ago, will also be speaking.

In addition to the permanent stock of fiction titles, we're also having a one-off sale of local-interest books, railwayana, vintage science fiction and printed ephemera.

Come and join us!

John Partington
👍 11

Wed 31 May 2023, 21:06

All the bookshelves are now in place in our fiction bookroom upstairs in the front room (the 'Morris Room') at the Corner House, and we're fully open for business: all books are £1 each or three for £2.  As a result the back room (the 'Oliver Watney Room') now has more shelf-space, and is specialising in non-fiction and classic fiction, especially older editions including antiquarian and leather-bound, all still at 50p each.

To celebrate the newly expanded shop, we're holding an official opening with a glass of wine, at 6.00 pm on Wednesday 14th.  Do come and join us!

John Partington
👍 3

Tue 2 May 2023, 22:22 (last edited on Wed 3 May 2023, 07:36)

Great news:  our new fiction bookroom is now open, as of tomorrow (Wednesday).  Not all of the intended bookcases are yet installed, but there are already about a thousand good-quality paperback & hardback fiction titles for sale, arranged alphabetically by author, at just £1 each or three for £2.

It's in the Morris Room, upstairs at the front (turn right at the top of the stairs), and there is an honesty box screwed to the wall by the door.  If you'd rather pay by card, or if you need change, you can pay at Cornerstone downstairs.  All profits to the Corner House.

Opening hours are 10 am - 1 pm, Monday to Saturday.  For the next couple of months team members from The Bull next door are using the far end of the Morris Room as office space, but they welcome the presence of book browsers & buyers enlivening their day.

An official opening is planned for next month, but don't wait for that:  bring cash and a large bag and help lessen our book mountain!

John Partington
👍 3

Sat 4 Mar 2023, 14:49 (last edited on Sat 4 Mar 2023, 16:21)

The orange & green Penguins are selling very quickly: there was quite a scrum in Cornerstone this morning.  I shall start adding black & grey Penguins next week (Classics & Modern Classics).  All proceeds to charity:  thank you to Charlbury's wonderful bibliophiles.

John Partington
👍 4

Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:13 (last edited on Sat 4 Mar 2023, 14:19)

The 50p local books in Cornerstone attracted a lot of interest, but have now been replaced by a wonderful selection of orange (and a few green) Penguin books, and Pan paperbacks from the '60s & '70s.  Just 20p each, or three for 50p, eight for £1, twenty for £2 (all proceeds to charity).  We'll be restocking as they go, so it will be a worth a return visit. (10 am - 1 pm, Mon - Sat in the Corner House)

John Partington
👍 1

Mon 2 Jan 2023, 20:29

Cornerstone reopens tomorrow after the Christmas break, and now that the tide of apples has receded we're resuming our sale of local-interest books @ 50p.  Come soon if you want first pick of the individual items, or one of the last couple of Lois Hey's "History of Charlbury" (future copies will be five times the price!).

Upstairs bookshop expansion plans are still underway:  more news later this month.

John Partington
👍 1

Tue 29 Nov 2022, 18:13 (last edited on Tue 29 Nov 2022, 20:18)

Thank you, Catherine, for that very encouraging comment.  All credit to Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Grace Heath, Gay Crosby and our other hard-working volunteers.

Plans are in hand to extend the bookshop in terms both of size and of opening hours, with:  (i) a much larger selection of (better sorted) high-quality fiction and also of older, collectable, stock;  and (ii) occasional (perhaps frequent) afternoon opening in addition to our core hours of 10 am - 1 pm.  More news (including, we hope, of a gala opening) in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile the Corner House trustees are looking to improve the entrance hallway, which has become increasingly full of crates, boxes etc.  So if possible in future please leave donations of books, DVDs etc in the Albright Room (the old kitchen) at the back of the ground floor.  We can still accept donations in the hallway if it helps you, but in any event please don't leave books etc upstairs where they disrupt our stock control and impede our customers.

Catherine Ball
👍 11

Mon 17 Oct 2022, 22:41

Our community bookshop is one of the very greatest things about Charlbury - and competition for that accolade is fierce indeed. Walking down to the Corner House to bring in a few, browse and buy a few is a splendid way to spend a work break. Immense thanks are due to all who keep it alive. It is absolutely appreciated.

John Partington
👍 4

Fri 14 Oct 2022, 11:10

A update on our town bookshop (in the Corner House, 10 am - 1 pm Monday to Saturday, all profits to charity).

People are being wonderfully generous with donations, and as a result books have been arriving much faster than we can sell them.  Nothing is wasted, and what we can't sell in Charlbury is sold elsewhere or sent for recycling.

It's the cheaper books (upstairs, at 50p) that we have such a very large inflow of .. so please be aware that every day the table upstairs has a couple of dozen new books on display -- and if you don't catch them that day, you may have missed your only opportunity.

In other words it's always worth looking at our new arrivals every time that you're near the Corner House.  And please tell your friends & neighbours what a good resource it is.

John Partington
👍 1

Sat 9 Jul 2022, 18:19

Thank you to all those who bought local-interest books this week:  from that and other recent small initiatives, I'm able to pass another £50 to CRAG.

Talking of refugees, we're soon setting up a Ukrainian section of the Community Bookshop.  We have several dozen Russian-language titles already, but would be very glad to receive more Russian or, even better, Ukrainian-language books and magazines.  Please leave them, as usual, in the hallway of the Corner House.

A significant part of our fund-raising comes from postal sales of donated books, and I've now almost run out of cardboard book-wrappers and envelopes.  So don't throw away, or even recycle, your Amazon (etc) cardboard wrappers:  put them with the books in the hallway.  Thank you very much!

John Partington
👍 1

Sat 2 Jul 2022, 20:09

In addition to our D of E teenagers, mentioned below, this Monday we're welcoming another local teenager to the Corner House to do a week's work-experience:  H-J Walkden.  Do come in and say hello to H-J.

Taking advantage of H-J's free labour, we're holding a week-long sale of new & used local-interest books at 50p and 10p in CornerStone:  some absolute bargains from my surplus stock with proceeds going to CRAG and Corner House (including CornerStone).

John Partington
👍 7

Wed 9 Mar 2022, 11:41 (last edited on Wed 9 Mar 2022, 19:10)

Thank you to those who have taken the trouble to say nice things about the books (in the posts below and many more in person).

We should also give credit to two hard-working teenagers, who are helping as part of working towards their D of E Gold Awards:  Caitie, who helps sort and stock the Cornerstone back room with adults' fiction and children's books & games;  and Grace, the fastest draw in Charlbury with a barcode-scanner, who categorises the non-fiction and keeps the Anne Downer room so well stocked.

Both delightful young women are giving hours of their time, for many months.  Look out for them on Saturday mornings, and show your appreciation!

Nikki Rycroft
👍 9

Fri 25 Feb 2022, 10:47

I absolutely love browsing the bookshop, and you can often see me coming out laden with my latest collection, often non fiction, particularly Russian/French history. The problem is mostly I keep the books I have enjoyed or for reference, but I have started passing fiction on to friends to make a bit of space ! Thank you John/ Neil and everyone else who helps for this brilliant service for Charlbury. Keep the books coming......

Sue Way
👍 11

Fri 25 Feb 2022, 07:57

Thank you John, Neil and all those who help in this venture. It’s a great resource for everyone to use and is appreciated!

John Partington
👍 6

Thu 24 Feb 2022, 22:51

Thank you, Liz. It's nice to have some positive feedback!

Liz Reason
👍 18

Thu 24 Feb 2022, 11:21

I think this coordinated service is really useful and it's good to hear not only about the benefits to the Corner House, but also that DVDs and waste books are being sustainably recycled.

John Partington
👍 8

Wed 23 Feb 2022, 13:50 (last edited on Wed 23 Feb 2022, 14:20)

That's what I've just said, Susie. All upstairs book proceeds go to the Corner House only.

As for "nothing goes elsewhere", in fact about nine-tenths does. Neil is selling about one in ten of the books that reach him at the moment (inflow is that much greater than sales). The single thing that will improve that is longer opening hours, for which he & I are lobbying the committee.

[Upstairs & downstairs is one integrated operation. Books are sold in different rooms, for different prices, depending on what type and value they are (see my initial post in this thread). Although Cornerstone naturally take a handling charge (towards their own expenses .. they have paid staff as well as volunteers) for books that they sell, books that sell downstairs still make more money for Corner House than those upstairs, because they sell for a higher price in the first place. It's not complicated, and people can still be sure that maximum value for Corner House will be raised from whatever book they give. Some of us are spending many hours a week, unpaid, to ensure that!]

Susie Finch
(site admin)
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Wed 23 Feb 2022, 13:47 (last edited on Wed 23 Feb 2022, 13:48)

I was under the impression that ALL books DVDs etc upstairs and maintained by Neil were for the upkeep of the Corner House and Memorial Hall ONLY and nothing went elsewhere.  What the books downstairs are for I presume it’s a proportion that go to Corner house, Cornerstone and CRAG.

John Partington
👍 5

Wed 23 Feb 2022, 12:57 (last edited on Wed 23 Feb 2022, 13:32)

Christine, yes – proceeds from the sale of the upstairs books go entirely to the upkeep of the Corner House. There's no need to be confused .. all the proceeds from donated books go to charity – the great majority to Corner House itself, some to CH's outreach-arm Cornerstone, and a few pounds now and again (in kind, not cash) to Oxfam, the Street Fair, CRAG, the church, whatever .. we're receiving many more books than are being sold in-house (longer opening hours will improve but not stop that), and the surplus overflows to various other charities round & about. The final destination of no-hope books is an incinerator that generates power for a Warwickshire hospital, and a recycling plant in India for the DVDs, CDs etc. (And even the recycled books & CDs generate money for the Corner House, because we're selling rather than giving them.)

As for where to put donated books: if you put them upstairs I simply carry them down again to sort elsewhere (the Art Society, quite properly, are using my previous sorting room!). So you may as well save your legs and leave them in the hallway!

Christine Battersby
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Wed 23 Feb 2022, 12:40

John, I thought I understood how the system works, but I am now confused. 

Are the books sold upstairs entirely for the benefit of the Corner House?  And what happens when I choose to take my books upstairs myself (as I usually do), rather than leave them to be sorted through in the downstairs lobby area? 

John Partington
👍 3

Wed 23 Feb 2022, 12:13 (last edited on Wed 23 Feb 2022, 12:14)

No, Susie. Cornerstone (which, anyway, is really the community-support arm of the Corner House) takes a small cut from the books that are sold downstairs, as their benefit from having handled the sale. (And anyway, a number of people who donate books tell me that they're giving them "to Cornerstone".)

Susie Finch
(site admin)
👍

Wed 23 Feb 2022, 12:04

John I was under the impression that all books sold in the Corner House are for the benefit for the Corner House!

John Partington
👍 5

Wed 23 Feb 2022, 09:32 (last edited on Wed 23 Feb 2022, 09:35)

You may also be interested to know that books are still also being sold for CRAG (and indeed for other charities or for individuals personally).  For every donated book that's sold in the Corner House I probably sell two online .. and it's these that can raise money for CRAG etc.  Just pass them to me separately (you can contact me through this site, or at john@pjohnp.me.uk), and the proceeds of any online sales will be passed to CRAG or whomever you wish;  books that cannot be sold online will instead be sold in & for the Corner House.  For non-charitable sales I charge a small commission.

John Partington
👍 3

Wed 23 Feb 2022, 09:22 (last edited on Wed 23 Feb 2022, 09:42)

An update on bookselling in the Corner House.  [And a reminder:  I merely supply and sort some of the books – decisions about pricing, space-allocation etc are made by the Corner House committee, of which I am not a member.]

There are books for sale in three different rooms in the Corner House.

Downstairs on the left (the Anne Downer room) there is a large selection of high-quality non-fiction at £2 each (three for £5).  Downstairs on the right there are many hundreds of fiction at £1 each (three for £2), and of children's books at 50p (three for £1).  Upstairs there is a wide range of miscellaneous books, CDs & DVDs at 50p.

The books are available when the Corner House is open (currently 10.00am - 1.00 pm, Monday to Saturday), and are raising several thousand pounds a year for the Corner House and its associated CornerStone project.  We're always glad to receive donations (of books, maps, DVDs & BluRay, CDs; we can also recycle your VHS tapes & audio-cassettes): just leave them in the hallway during opening hours .. they are sorted every day.

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