After another day of working in the Oxfam shop yesterday I must say that I am really starting to like it. I most like to work behind the till which I did all day yesterday. I like the interaction with the people buying books or music. Some are very talkative, some are very grumpy but most of them are friendly people. And I also figured out that I like this work much more than my paid day job work …
The shop is located on Marylebone Highstreet (a 5 minute walk from Baker Street station and not too far from Oxford Street either) and attracts both the very posh and the very down to earth (and everything in between), and both the very young (children) and the somwhat older.
Here are a couple of notes I made in some quiet moments (of which there were very few):
- I have sold everything from children’s books to old school Wagner LP’s.
- There are the regulars who are waiting for the shop to open to be the first to check if anything interesting has arrived. And there are people who just wander in without really wanting to buy anything but then come to the till with a huge stack of books. “I really didn’t want to buy anything today” they then say, “but there are so many good books in this shop”. It’s nice hearing that.
- Two lovely DJ’s sitting down on the floor going through the boxes with vinyl record for ages and buying a stack of them. Vinyl is stil hip I tell you. Not only for dj’s, also classical music LP’s are still sold. And I have even sold some prerecorded casette tapes!
- VHS videos are still sold. Yep. I admit that the DVDs (and they have Bill DVDs too – I saw Hot Fuzz coming in yesterday …) are more popular but there is a good offer on VHS tapes: 3 for £1. There, how cheap is that?
- And I sold The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan LP to a very friendly American. I had a talk with him about the fact that LP covers are so much cooler than cd covers. We talked how a carefully selected stack of albums carried under your arm could define just how cool you were.
This American could not resist the temptation of owning The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan on vinyl again. And he didn’t even have a record player at home he said!
- It is quite amazing to think about the fact that every single book in this whole shop (and there are many many books!) has been donated by someone. It is heart warming when people come into the shop with bags of books they want to donate. And they can use everything, so please come in and bring the books (or music) you no longer need.
- Kids love to sit down on their knees on the floor in front of kids section reading a fairy tale or looking for Harry Potter.
- It is lovely to see all those people wander around in the shop, browsing for books. The shop does have quite a selection, and there is something for everybody. From easy to read chicklits to novels, literature, and books about science, gardening, films, London history, trains, planes or automobiles. There is a pretty good Travel section too, and when I saw this San Francisco guide come in (in mint condition and for only £2,50) I of course had to buy it.
- Have I spotted any celebs in the shop? Yes I sold a book to the singer of former UK band The Fine young Cannibals. Never a dull day in the book shop!
I will be back working in the shop next Sunday so come in and say hi if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.
3 thoughts to “A day in the Oxfam book shop”
I saw Roland Gift years ago in a production of Romeo and Juliet. I can’t remember which theatre. Was in London. I got him to sign my programme afterwards!
Roland Gift! He was always very cool! There’s a weatherman on the BBC that looks like him (useless fact No.223)
We are always taking stuff to the charity shop in fact if my husband had his way we’d take the whole contents of the house to the charity shop!
Glad you are enjoying your (unpaid) work
I did like the music of the Fine Young Cannibals. It is very weird when one of them suddenly stands in front of you at the till! I didn’t make any embarrassing comments though, just helped him with his buyings.
@grigorisgirl : I have never spotted that BBC weatherman you are talking about, but will keep my eyes open now :)