Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Charity Shop Finds

I wonder if anything even remotely resembling this British news story ever occurs at the Goodwill or other charity shops in this country. Somehow, I doubt it. This is from The Press Association and describes some of the rare books donated to one particular charity shop chain in the U.K.

Rare books donated to Oxfam shops, including a first edition by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is due to be auctioned.

The star item going under the hammer in Oxford is Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study In Scarlet, which is expected to fetch £7,000 to £9,000.

It was discovered inside a book called Samuel Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887 by two volunteers at an Oxfam shop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Other lots at the Bonhams auction include first editions of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Sons And Lovers by DH Lawrence, CS Lewis' The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader and JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Simon Roberts of the books, maps and manuscript department at Bonhams, added: "It is extraordinary what emerges from these Oxfam shops. It is a snapshot of what people have read and collected over the past century.

"Some of these books have been handed in with little knowledge of their value."
No kidding.


  1. That is truly mind-boggling - and great for Oxfam.

  2. It really is great for Oxfam, dreamqueen.

    I do wonder sometimes how the donor feels when hearing the news about something blindly donated like these books must have been. :-)

  3. I can only imagine but I suspect it might involve trying to oneself in one's own ass.

  4. Maybe I need to get a part-time job processing the incoming donations at a charity shop...Just kidding. But I would love to find something like that. I always look through the books any place I go. You never know. I could get lucky.

  5. Bookscouts have run across some pretty nice finds in Goodwills and estate sales. This would have more impact, I suppose, if I could actually remember any titles/incidents.

  6. Lisa, it would certainly be a thrill to find something like that, wouldn't it.

    I check inside any old books that I'm looking at, too, and have found some interesting bookmarks from the 19th century and some old receipts from the 1930s and earlier. You just never know what's been left behind inside a book. That's part of the fun.

  7. Probably would, Carrie. :-)

    But it's still a point well taken...although I can't remember ever even buying a book from the Goodwill shop nearest me. They are either very well picked over by staff or they only receive junk, not sure which it is.