Shoppers in Eastleigh have been flocking to a new bookshop with a difference.
Everything inside it is free!
A ‘Books for Free’ store has opened up inside the empty former bank premises opposite Tesco at the Swan Centre. All the donated stock is completely free, the Charity behind the initiative Healthy Planet says that giving away unwanted books prevents them going to landfill.
People wandering into the store to browse are baffled to find no checkout – and are surprised to be told to just help themselves.
“Taking a book off the shelf and slipping it into my bag makes me feel so guilty” – one ‘customer’ said “I feel like a shop lifter!”
The store manager said;
“As long as people promise not to throw the books away – then they can help themselves. They are of course welcome to bring unwanted books into the store although there is no shortage of stock – I took a delivery of a 1000 books today.”
“Barclays who own the shop are happy to let us stay here until they can find someone to lease it to”.
Inside the store all the books are arranged by subject and the children and adults fiction section are sorted alphabetically by author. There are paperbacks, hardbacks major reference books and even complete sets of encyclopaedias.
For those who feel having books for ‘free’ is too much of a bargain there is a donation tin – donations will go to shop running costs although it is staffed by volunteers.
One customer 54, from Newtown said:
“I used to buy books from the Oxfam store on High Street regularly – but they have got too expensive. In here I have seen nearly new hardback copies of a book which currently for sale in Waterstones – just yards away- for £17!”
“That’s this year’s Christmas presents sorted.”