I was very surprised to find that Susan Hill blogs, but it seems she does. The surprise arose from the fact that I was under the impression she doesn’t like our lot. I must have been mistaken.
What Susan doesn’t like is Oxfam. There have been a few blogs based on her feelings, so I’m just adding mine to the pile. I’m doing so because since marrying the Resident IT Consultant at the beginning of time, I have been sort of related to Oxfam, what with the Grandmother volunteering with them for decades. She’s still going strong, and is happy with the fact that her local Oxfam turned into one of these vile bookshops.
The Stirling Oxfam is a good bookshop, in a good position, and from what I gather they do sensible things with their books and their prices. I have no idea if they’ve forced anyone out of business, but they are where they have been for a long time, next to a bus stop, and customers come in and buy while waiting for the bus.
If I have time now that I’m up in Scotland, I will pop in and examine the situation. But it stands to reason that they won’t ask prices that are so high that people won’t buy. And having once given a friend bags and bags of books to sell for a charity he supported, and finding that they went for 10p each, was a shock. I had hoped ‘my’ books would do more good than that. But had I been buying them, I’d have been pleased to pay so little.
Shows what a turncoat I am.
But, I look in all the charity shops when I’m buying. Sometimes I will do a Susan Hill and not buy from Oxfam if the price is roughly the same as the new book would be on Amazon. I prefer the cheaper shops, obviously. My experience from doing the rounds of all of them before Christmas every year is that you can’t know what you’ll find in any given charity’s shop. It’s not as if readers of certain authors’ books only give to one particular charity.
Oxfam is in business to make money. Not for shareholders, but for the recipients of various projects. It makes sense that they charge as much as they can, and that they start up new shops in places where they think they will do well. I hope that doesn’t mean that other charities are forced out.
And as the Grandmother pointed out over breakfast, people complain that the books are expensive and then they happily fork out £2 for cards. Each. Often more than one card.