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UK Cityslicker Marianne: Alternative Book Buying in Nottingham City Center

This month’s Cityslicker task was to cover the theme of literacy. As a bargain hunter, I decided to demonstrate a few money saving alternatives to buying your books from chain stores in Nottingham.

Firstly, the one that most might know is the Oxfam Books store on Market Street.

Here you can get paperback books for anywhere between £1 and £5 which is a snip off the original pricing, whilst feeling pleased that you’ve donated to charity at the same time. The good thing about the Oxfam Books store is because it’s dedicated to books, they tend to have the best and largest collection in comparison to a normal charity shop.

The Nottingham City Center branch has all the usual fiction and reference books, but also has a dedicated sci-fi/fantasy/crime section which you wouldn’t get in a standard charity shop. Also, in my experience, Oxfam Books is very well kept and everything is sorted alphabetically and tidied up on a regular basis, so it’s just as easy to browse in as a Waterstone’s.

The only downside of Oxfam Books in comparison to a standard charity shop is the price. If your main goal is a bargain, you can find books in charity shops like Cancer Research UK, Barnardos and British Heart Foundation for as low as 50p and almost always at least a couple of quid less than Oxfam Books. However, usually the shelves are a little less organized and therefore it can be harder to locate what you want, and they’ll only usually have the bestsellers and recent book club/prize winners, rather than anything more unusual.

Unique to the Nottingham region and a great better-of-both-worlds-option is Bookwise on Goose Gate. Bookwise is an independent bookshop that supports Music for Everyone, a charity that runs music programs in local schools and community.

They have two floors of books, which means they have a collection that is at par with Oxfam Books, but with similar prices to a standard charity shop. What I especially like about Bookwise, is that they have a very clearly outlined section for nominees/prize winner books, so in case you aren’t sure how to judge a book by it’s cover, you can rely on a judging panel’s stamp of approval.

Also, due to its links with Music for Everyone, they also have a section of sheet music and music scores, which are not commonly sold in most charity shops.

So whether you’re browsing for your next fictional read or looking for a course textbook, I would definitely recommend heading along to Oxfam Books and Bookwise and checking whether they have what you need. You can save a lot of money (especially on hardback textbooks) and feel good about your purchase and when you’ve finished, donate it back to them!

written by savethemarianne

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