Tag Archives: Oxfam

Book shopping in Bath

Since I’ve moved home I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Bath- it’s the perfect literary haunt. In the nineteenth century Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Mary Shelley visited. Today book shops in Bath continue to sell their novels, alongside the work of hundreds of other authors. Here’s some of my favourite places to buy a book in the city. 

Bath Old Books, 9C Margaret’s Buildings.

This shop is run by five different book dealers who each take turns to run the shop. Each dealer has a different section in the shop, so if you’re looking for a specific book make sure you check all the sections for it. There are two levels with plenty of stock in the basement, mostly hardbacks. I’ve picked up some old Victorian copies of my favourite books for as cheap as £6.00. The shop is just round the corner from The Circus, it’s a lovely location and a brilliant place to browse.

George Bayntun, Manvers Street.

George Bayntun is an up-market shop located in a listed building. They bind books for sale to collectors in-store and sell rare books to prestigious customers. If this sounds a little imposing, don’t be put off. They have a good selection of books at a lower price range in the basement. The shop, which opened in 1873, has stayed with the same family since then and has a fascinating history.

Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, The Paragon. 

This is probably one of the best places to buy new books in Bath. It’s the only place I’ve seen where the hardback copies are laminated, which makes them look extra smart. Topping & Company also holds regular author events so some of the books are signed as well. Everything is well arranged and advertised with handwritten signs. The shop’s next guest is Chris Cleave, the author of Gold, and after that it’s Levi Roots.

Oxfam Bookshop, 4-5 Lower Borough Walls.

Oxfam Bookshops are the bread and butter of the reading world, selling second-hand copies for charity. When I was an English student they were a goldmine, I could pick up cheap copies of the books on my syllabus instead of getting them on Amazon. Bath’s Oxfam Bookshop has a good selection- it’s often surprising what you can find there.

Where’s your favourite place to shop for books? Let me know by commenting on this post. If you’ve enjoyed reading it I’d love to hear from you.


Collecting Old Books

The collection so far

Antique dealers collect old books because they’re valuable. And some artists collect old books because they can be altered– scribbled on and cut to make new works of art. I’m collecting books for something different. I’m getting married in September and I’d like the table decorations to be book-related. So far my fiance seems willing too. 

This has become an excuse to dive into as many old bookshops as possible and I suspect I have more than enough books for the day. I’m hoping we can find a nice bookshelf to put them on when we move in together after the wedding.

But next I need to come up with a way of displaying them on the day. I’ve seen several clever ideas on the internet, but I’m not sure if they’re practical. If people are eating and drinking it might be better to have them in a basket which can be placed elsewhere if they start to get in the way.  If anyone has any suggestions let me know.

This Christmas my future mother-in-law very kindly gave me some old books as a present. Apparently she was going to give them to me separately at another time, but my fiance said I’d really like them and she should wrap them up.

An elephant on the front cover of The Jungle Book

He was right, they were just from the charity shop but I loved them. They were one of my favourite presents that day, books last longer than chocolate or bath salts and even clothes.

Now I’ve caught the collecting bug it’s hard to stop popping into the Oxfam book shop, or looking up my favourite titles on eBay to see if I can get a good copy. Fortunately or unfortunately, whichever way you look at it, I’ve yet to bag a job as a journalist so I can’t splash out on too many….