EAST AFRICA APPEAL – Latest info on Oxfam’s response and how to donate here:


THE SYSTEM’S BUST – Excellent stuff here, join our GROW campaign to help fix the system:


PAKISTAN FLOODS – One year on, an update:


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Hey folks , sorry we have been silent for what seems like an eternity in blog years . We will however try to make amends for that. We are breaking our silence to let you what’s happening in our world over the next few weeks .

On July 14th 2012 we are welcoming the team from Just Trading Scotland to promote the Eswatini range of products in our shops .Have a look at their website http://www.justtradingscotland.co.uk/categories/902-Eswatini-Swazi-Kitchen/productsand pop along on the day. By purchasing a marmalade or chutney you will be supporting a worthwhile cause .


Also upcoming is author James Christie promotion.On july 19th at 7.30pm James will be joining us to promote his book “Dear Miss Landau…” .If you would like to know more you can check out his publishers page here http://www.chaplinbooks.co.uk/authors.html. Tickets are £2.00 redeemable against your  purchase on the night . Our readings are normally very chilled with drinks and fairtrade nibbles provided by us .We hope to see you there .

Hopefully we will keep you up to date on ourselves soon.

Brief update

It’s been six months since our last post. Rest assured we’re still here, still busy. One of our New Year’s resolutions after a hectic Christmas period was to be more regular with our blog postings. So here, slightly later than expected, we are.

Currently it’s Crime Time at the Byres Road book shop in Glasgow, with a big promotion on crime fiction from the classic to the contemporary. There are more big promotions planned in the coming year. Stay tuned for more news.

Our posts are fast becoming a monthly rather than bi-weekly thing. We are experiencing a sustained surge in donation at present, in part due to Bookfest, part due to summer clearing out. While it can be tough to manage so much stock, the benefits are clear and immediate: more quality stock + more choice = increased sales. Last year Bookfest accounted for a makor spike in sales across the network, so it will be interesting to see how this year fares.

The extra quiz we put on for Bookfest was a great success. A full house in attendence, and £120 raised for East Africa (thanks everyone, especially the table of women who bought strip after strip of tickets). We also had our talk  on the poor houses of Glasgow, so we’d like to send our personal thanks to our volunteer Alasdair Ramage, whose presentation it was.


This month sees Syd Sharp return to the shop to showcase more of his bookbinding and printing expertise. Syd did an interactive  workshop in the shop previously and we had a lot of queries about running it or something similar again. This time round, he’ll be talking about Letterpress printing using an Adana printer. Attendees will get a chance to muck in and make their own small booklets. It’s a great chance to see an increasingly esoteric craft in action, so mark the date and get along. It’s on Thurs 25th August at 7pm, on the shop sales area. Tickets are free, though we would like to ask people to donate an amount of their choice to the East Africa appeal. For any further info, contact us at the shop.  


Lastly, there is currently a sale of selected New Product goods in the shop (you’ll find similar reductions at the moment in any Oxfam shop that carries New Product). Up to 80% off is being offered. The gardening range from last year didn’t last too long, and at the moment there are some other bargains to be had from the old stationery range (including a quite cool clock made from recycled cups), as well as reductions to many of our card lines.

And staying on topic, its worth mentioning that we had the highest gross sales of New Product of any Oxfam shop over the first quarter of this year, the first time we’ve ever topped this offer. Here’s hoping the trend carries on through the run in and through Christmas ’12.



Busy busy here with us. But not so busy that I can’t find a minute to mention an extra instalment of our Literary Quiz, running as part of Oxfam’s Bookfest 2011. It’s slightly short notice, but it’s on Tuesday 12th July, 9pm at The 78 Kelvinhaugh St. Prizes for the winning teams, free entry. If you’re not on holiday, there are only poor excuses.

The following night we have another event. A talk by one of our volunteers, Alastair Ramage, on the poorhouses of Glasgow. It’s on in the stote, 7.30pm start, and you can get tickets on the door or in advance from us. Admission is £2 and all proceeds go to Oxfam.


Other than this, well, donations have risen over the last few weeks, and we are seeing some excellent stuff. We have dedicated a section of our floor to Folio Society publications, mainly due to the enormous collection we recently received (three trips by car). If you’re unfamiliar with these works, they are hardbound, slipcased and illustrated editions of classic works. History, litertature, biography, humour, they cover a lot of subjects. They make perfect gifts and many of the editions no longer reprinted by FS can be quite collectible. Anyway, the upshot is, we currently have a broad range of these titles in excellent condition, sitting on our floor, screaming to be bought. Get them while there still here.


Took a little longer than anticipated to get it sorted, but it is now. Tuesday 14th June is the next one. And for Bookfest 2011 we’ll run an extra quiz on Tuesday July 12th. Both will be hosted, as always, at The 78 bar in Glasgow’s West End. Teams may be any size and it’s free to enter. Prizes for the top teams.. 

In case you’re not familiar with Bookfest, follow this link to get the basic idea on what it is and what to expect this year, including our ongoing partnership with the Hay festival . There is also a book donation drive running from the 14th May to the 6th June. This bolsters our stock levels in anticipation of the increased sales that the shops have come to expect around Bookfest fortnight. So please have a mooch about and see what else you really, truly don’t need to be hanging onto and consider donating it. It’s worth saying too that you don’t have to give specifically to the standalone bookshops. Bookfest incorporates all Oxfam shops that sell books, whether as their sole offer or as part of a ‘standard’ offer including clothing, bric-a-brac and the like. In fact. it’s the local suburban shops who benefit most from this influx of stock.


For yet another year, the Byres Road bookshop was the top ranked bookshop in 2010-2011 by NSC (or ‘net shop contribution’, the profitability of an Oxfam store) across the entire Oxfam network. In the current retail climate, we consider this a significant achievement and John and I would like to extend our warmest thanks to all of our volunteer team and our customer base. We would have no business to even speak of without the generosity and time of many people. We hope we can have another trading year like it in 2011/2012.


Lastly, our series of Spring promotions continues with our Antiquarian Sale. Following Crime month, and the yearly Postcard and Vintage Kids sales, we’ve decided to give over the space to a selection of older volumes. It’s a very eclectic mix of subjects and formats and it’ll be open to browse and buy for a few weeks yet.

The date is to be confirmed but it will likely be around the third week of May. Slightly shorter lead-in time for this one but we hope it will be well attended as usual. Like I say, I don’t have a confirmation from the 78 yet. Just putting the good word out.


The postcard sale will be winding down toward the end of the month, though there’s still plenty of fresh stock going out on a weekly basis. The sale always does well, lots of bulk buying. One customer spent over a hundred pounds in one purchase. It took three of us a good fifteen minutes just to sort it in to similar-prices stacks. Come back any time..


The full range of the new Stationery lines have arrived and are on the shop floor for purchase. Some really nice recycled notebooks, writing paper, envelopes. Should go well.


Lastly, if you are still feeling the need for chocolate, you can still bag a post-easter bargain. Handful of eggs going cheap and cheerful, if you’ll excuse the unintended and awful pun.

It does kind of divide into seasons. So April is the January equivalent: the new (financial) year.


The kids antiquarian sale went well this year. One customer can take credit for a disproportinately large percentage of the sales. A sound marriage of supply and demand. Many thanks Mr.

And so we come to another annual promotion: Old Postcards. This tends to be very popular, with people/collectors often buying  £10/£20 at a  time. In fact, no sooner were the bones of the display out on Monday morning than someone spent over £30. Postcards accumalate throughout the year and there’s usually a surplus from the previous years sale too. I recommend getting in sooner rather than later if this is a field of interest.


Easter food is in, cause it’s getting to that time. And our new Stationery range is due. Our shop New Products will then be complete for this period of 2011 and will comprise:

– Oxfam Everyday Cards

-All-year-round food

– ‘Everyday’ range (includes cleaning products, toiletries)

– ‘Gardening’ range

– ‘Stationery’ range

– Easter Food

And not to forget: Cath Tate cards, Leeds Postcards.


Lastly, a mention of the Byres Road Oxfam Music shop. They have had a shop floor refit, and while I haven’t personally seen it, I’m assured, it’s very cool.