Donation surge sees charity shop buried under mountain of 40,000 books

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of b

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of books they have been donated during lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Bookworms will be able to grab a bargain after a charity shop has been inundated with 40,000 books.

Jenny Newton, shop manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop on Bedford Street, Norwich, said the store has been deluged with donations since it reopened on April 12 when non-essential shops could trade again after lockdown.

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of b

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of books they have been donated during lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

She was grateful for the donations but said the charity shop was in an "unprecedented situation" and the items were in piles everywhere around the store.

The books would measure one mile in height if piled on top of each other or be match the length of 30 Nelson's Columns if put in a line.

And to create space all stock in the Oxfam store, the thousands of second hand goods will be sold off at half price for a week from Friday, May 21 until the bank holiday weekend.

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of b

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of books they have been donated during lockdown. With her is volunteer David Ashcroft, left. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Mrs Newton said: "Like everyone else, we have been closed for the past four months and people have been sat at home with the opportunity to go through their belongings, so the donations arrived in a complete deluge.

"Since day one after reopening we have had an average of 12 boxes and bags being dropped off each day and some days we have had over 50 boxes."

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of b

Jenny Newton, manager of the Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, dwarfed by the piles of books they have been donated during lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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"It is lovely that people want to bring their things to us but we cannot process the donations quickly enough. We are reaching a tipping point.

"We are being selective on what books we put on the shelves and cannot have staff, volunteers and customers tripping over piles of stock."

The average number of words in an adult fiction book is 100,000 meaning the estimated number of words in the Oxfam shop waiting to be read amounts to four billion.

She added all items in the Oxfam shop were usually carefully priced to raise valuable funds to reduce poverty around the world as well as supporting India during its coronavirus crisis.

Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, which has been inundated with donated books during loc

Oxfam Books and Music shop in Bedford Street, which has been inundated with donated books during lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But Mrs Newton said: "The sale is a special opportunity to get a proper bargain. Hopefully it will attract people who have not come to us before."

The shop manager was encouraging people to call ahead of dropping off donations and if they had a lot she urged them to hold back on bringing them.



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