Inspiring Older Readers
Bookworm on the High Street in Tewkesbury is a charity bookshop but it's a bit different from the usual sort. This shop doesn't raise money for one specific charity project but spreads its money around a number of good causes. In addition to this fundraising, their mission is to be a valuable community resource for the people of the town and to also provide an environmentally friendly alternative to books finding their way into landfill.
The project was started in 2010 and in addition to books it will also take donations of cds and jigsaws - but it is the book stock that dominates. The shop itself isn't huge and so it can sometimes feel a bit cramped if it's a busy time of the day. All the usual categories are catered for and they are accommodated on well demarcated shelving and easy enough to locate. They have some shelves of what they categorise as 'collectibles' but you'll also find some interesting stuff mixed in with the literature and poetry sections. To be honest, I didn't see anything that I would class as collectible but I guess that what they have is always going to unpredictable - so popping in on a regular basis would probably be wise if you can do that. Their fiction is largely paperback but a top shelf of hardbacks is also available - they do tend to be the big sellers from the thriller and detective genres and so not really of much interest to me.
Their prices are pretty good on the whole - although they do have a tendancy (like many other charity shops) to overprice their Folio Press books in slipcases. What does bug me about the shop however is the current layout - there is simply not enough room given to the children's books and for reasons I can't personally fathom the shelves you see on the left as you enter the shop are the ones given over to foreign language books. That's just plain weird. The first rule of retail should be to put some of your best stuff in the customers eyeline as they enter to make sure they feel like staying.
Having said that, I salute the endevour and wish them well. I will always pop in whenever I'm in Tewkesbury and if you combine it with the other bookshops of the town you wont be disappointed.