Working in a charity book shop (and have been doing for many years) means that you end up seeing the same books, over and over again. We are a shop run on donations. All the stock we receive is from the public kindly bringing that in to us to be able to sell and raise money. However, there are certain times when you’re sorting through piles of books that you want to tear out your hair. You’re literally begging for something interesting and different.
Me and my dad have a running joke that a charity shop isn’t a charity shop until it has a video copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and a copy of Extreme: My Autobiography by Sharon Osbourne. I can tell you now, these are definitely not the worst offenders in the charity shop world. I cannot express how many of the same books we get in stock, day in and day out. And it ends up with us recycling so many copies of decent quality books because we have boxes and boxes of the same ones.
Clearly this just means that some books are popular, meaning more people buy them, more people read them and more people give them away. However, it’s a very dull job for those (like me) who have to sort through twenty copies of Fifty Shades Of Grey daily. I really do enjoy my job, and the most rewarding part is finding something you weren’t expecting. Maybe having first dibs on a YA novel you’ve not seen in a charity shop before. Or finding ARC copies you can’t resell. Or maybe even finding something exciting, rare and worth a lot of money. These moments are few and far between.
In reality, i could fill boxes weekly with copies of The Hunger Games and we only sell one copy a month. They’re coming in so much faster than going out. Here are some books that i’m absolutely sick of seeing:
- The Fifty Shades series by E.L. James
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyer
- The Sound Of Laughter by Peter Kay
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
- The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
- Work Your Wardrobe by Gok Wan
- Any cook book by Jamie Oliver
- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I have absolutely nothing against any of these books, i love a lot of them. However when you see them every day continuously, you lose interest in them very quickly. Your favourite books become the ones you never want to touch again.
This is just a little insight in to a supervisor of a bookshop when you have absolutely no control of the stock you’re receiving, it’s a very exciting and rewarding job at times, but it’s also incredibly frustrating putting books on shelves that you know won’t sell! Everyone must have a copy of The Life Of Pi by now surely…