Summer is a busy time for the classics section at Oxfam. We receive piles and piles of donations at the end of July from GCSE, A Level and university students who have finally come to the end of the year. They struggle in with heavy bags, eager to rid themselves of any course material that will remind them of long evenings spent at the library, scrutinising old texts. It’s a time of year when we get a huge increase in Shakespeare study guides, poetry and tattered old penguin classics.
As you may be aware, in the last few months I have started volunteering at Oxfam Books and Music. So far it’s been great. I get to sort through, price and sell books. I even quite like that musty, old book smell. But most exciting of all; I get first pick of the books! Another thing that I love about used books is finding unexpected items inside. I can completely understand these bookworms that accidentally leave postcards, train tickets and scraps of paper between the pages of their books because I do exactly the same thing. I usually grab the nearest thing to mark my place and often these can become nice memories when I find them months or years later hidden in an old read. I’ve found some pretty weird and wonderful things that people have used for bookmarks. Here are a few of my favourite!