Most posts on this website tend to be about selling books but what about the books we don’t sell?
Following a post last year about what happens when a book is recycled, I thought I’d tell you a bit more about the fate of the unwanted books.
When donations come in to the shop they are sorted by our volunteers. Some are too tatty to go on the shelves or are duplicates of books that are already on the shelves. No-one needs five copies of Dan Browns ‘The Divinci Code’. These books are set aside for recycling.
There is also the other end of our stock; once the books have been on the shop for a set number of weeks, they are half priced. After several more weeks they end up out the front in our 20p section. If they are still not bought these books too will end up in the recycling pile.
So what happens to them?
As already described many of our books are taken by reusabook who pay us per bag, but we also have links to many community organisations that we in turn donate books to.
Many schools take donations, both primary and secondary and we often have good quality teen fiction and children’s non fiction to spare. We’ve also given boxes of adult books to The Canteen and Bristol free shop and to several homeless shelters. Avon and Somerset police take boxes as part of a drive to provide reading material to detainees and we’ve sent boxes to what was the Calais Refugee camp.
Our most recent link up is with the Unseen project who work with survivors of slavery and trafficking. In the case of Unseen, we were approached by volunteer Nic Mayfield:
“I was in the Amnesty Bookshop, Gloucester Road, Bristol a while back and it suddenly struck me that Amnesty might support UNSEEN, a charity that I volunteer for that supports survivors of human trafficking. The staff immediately took to the idea and have been wonderful, in their ongoing work in sourcing fiction and non-fiction books for the education programme that UNSEEN runs in its safe
houses. Just today I collected a wonderful collection of books particularly for survivors who need support in learning English as a second language as well as some factual books in English. “
As volunteers at Books for Amnesty we basically love books and are always keen to hear from community organisations, school and interesting projects that have a good use for our excess books. Just get in touch.We’ll ask that you aren’t too picky on what we give you (e.g.it’ll be a box of fiction rather than specific books), that you to collect the books yourself and probably that you take some shop bookmarks or a poster. Otherwise it’s strings free.
And keep those donations coming, it’s what keeps our shelves stocked full of a great variety of good books.