Bargain-Loving & Book-Mad in Banbury

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In what has become our usual first Monday of the month, Fab Foodie co-blogger Patrick and I did the Jones on Food & Travel show yesterday (link coming later on) then headed into the town centre for a spot of lunch and a charity shop crawl on a book hunt.

Patrick usually has a title of two he is specifically keeping an eye out for (and you’d be amazed how often we come across one of his targets) where as I am just looking for something to catch my eye. Like yesterday’s find – two, yes TWO – Elizabeth David titles in perfect condition (the spine is pristine, I doubt anyone has ever opened them) for 50p each. Come on – you don’t get better than that if you are book-crazed foodie (or a food-crazed book fiend).

Elizabeth David was more than just a British cookery writer. She recharged and expanded the whole idea of home cookery in the UK.

Bookshelves at charity shops are a never-ending bounty of surprise – and a great price. And I’ve made no secret of the fact that I see charity shops as an opportunity, not a problem, on the high street. Based on how crowded and busy the shops were mid-day on a Monday, the people of Banbury agree with me. I’ve even put together a shopping guide for the vintage and retro shoppers, the bargain-lovers and those who want to focus on re-using and upcycling good and clothing in the Banbury area. But, this doesn’t mean I won’t call out an issue when I see it – and the state of some of the bookshelves we saw is an issue. And quite possibly an impediment to the shops ROI and bottom line.

Please, please, please charity shops – at least try and group the books in some logical way.
Most of you do a damned fine job – alphabetical by author or at least grouped by letter. But for those that stack them 3 books deep on the shelves and throw them willy-nilly where ever they fall – no one can really shop that. I bet you’d sell 3 or 4 times as many books in less time if things were a bit tidier. We almost went over and asked if they wouldn’t consider closing for an hour or so while we sorted it out.

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