Inspiring Older Readers
Oxfam Bookshop, Byers Road, Glasgow
I don't tend to include all Oxfam bookshops in this section because the reviews can become monotonous - they very much conform to a corporate model. I'm not suggesting that this makes them bad but it is certainly true that if you've seen one you've seen the vast majority. As with all charity donation shops they are also very dependent on what they get given and so it's not fair to judge their stock choices.
However, where there is a stand-out shop which has managed to create a good, bookish atmosphere I try to say something. In the case of this particular shop, which is a stone's throw from the Glasgow Botanical Gardens and five minutes from the University, I was very impressed by what they have done. The shop is housed in a very modern glass fronted building and there is plenty of light and space - and a couple of nice squashy armchairs for anyone needing to rest their weary bones.
I have seen a couple of other on-line reviews - just short one liners - which have suggested that the prices are high but I didn't find them especially out of line with other Oxfam shops across the country. There has been a steady trend in recent times for Oxfam to go in for what I think is an unrealistic pricing strategy and like so many other charity shops they are using dealer listings like Abebooks as price comparison sites and this is a dangerous strategy when you have only a limited understanding of what makes books collectible or desirable. Here, however, I found that the books were generally in excellent condition and above average interest. There were also plenty of them - this is certainly one of the bigger Oxfam shops I've been in.
In my view it's well worth a visit and, given that there is also a branch of Waterstones not too far away and Caladonia books is just five minutes around the corner, it all adds up to a good afternoon out.