Killing with kindness

As if bookshops didn’t have enough to worry about

Perhaps it won’t be, after all, the coming of the e-book that will see used bookshops go the way of buggy whip makers. As an aggrieved association of British second-hand booksellers recently pointed out, the giant charity Oxfam, which has 15,000 stores worldwide, sells books at prices they can’t match. The charity sells donated stock, receives 80 per cent tax breaks in Britain—as do other charities —and largely employs volunteers. Small wonder that Oxfam, which now has 130 specialist bookshops across the country, has become the biggest retailer of secondhand books in Europe. All of which raises the question of what will Oxfam do, in the e-book future?

The Guardian

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