Inspiring Older Readers
The British Heart Foundation Books and Music Shop, Cheltenham
This smallish shop can be found in Winchcombe Street in Cheltenham, just off the main shopping drag. We visit this charity shop on a regular basis because it is dedicated largely to books although it also does a decent trade in records and cds too. The stock moves pretty quickly because they have a very sensible pricing policy which ensures nothing sticks around too long.
It's a well ordered shop that is very easy to navigate and if you're looking for specific subjects you wont have any trouble locating where they are likely to be. On the whole the stock is pretty good quality and it's displayed clearly - they've avoided over-packing the shelves which I think is a blessing. If you're looking for clean and tidy children's books there are plenty on offer in paper and hardback and they've just upgraded the display stands that hold them so that it's much easier to browse.
There's a small collectors/unusual books section towards the back of the shop and it's a bit hit and miss in terms of what you might find but I'd recommend you check it out because I've picked up some interesting stuff from there. They also have a locked glass display case that sometimes has an interesting item but it's a bit of a faff getting them to open the cabinet so you can have a closer look - again though it's probably worth it because if it's an item you want it probably wont be too costly.
There's also a good history section with some first rate recent editions that can be picked up for a fraction of what you'd pay new and they take a similar approach to academic text books which would be of interest to students looking for modern editions of their set texts.
Take this shop in as part of a wider tour of Cheltenham's book stores and you'll find it might just be worth your while - it's a well run establishment that seems to like keeping a range of books unlike so many other charity shops that seem to only be packed with the most recent popular paperbacks.