§ Oxfam – The charitable bookstore
The first bookstore I want to tell you about is called Oxfam (which stands for Oxford Committee for Famine Relief), and it is part of a global organization that fights poverty. Oxfam sells donated books (both contemporary and vintage ones), and many other items (such as vinyls, collectibles, and others). The bookstore itself is not big, and you can find many books for £2 – £5.
What I liked most about this bookshop was the social cause they’re supporting (fighting poverty worldwide), and the wide range of actions they’re taking (e.g.: helping schools in India, building irrigation schemes, or empowering women in developing countries).
§ David’s Bookshop – Trading books since 1896
To begin with, this bookshop is huge! They sell a wide variety of books (antiquarian, second-hand & remaindered – reduced price books), as well as maps, prints & engravings in many subjects. It is a hidden gem of Cambridge, situated in a quiet and peaceful area very close to the city center.
I could not resist the temptation and I bought myself a book from there: War and Peace by Tolstoy (from Wordsworth Editions). I plan to start reading it this summer … and hopefully I will finish it before we start singing Christmas carols 🙂
§ Sarah Key & Phil Salin – The Haunted Bookshop
This bookshop is also situated in quiet passage in the city center of Cambridge. However, this is a really tiny bookshop, mostly with vintage and rare books. They opened the Haunted Bookshop back in 1993, and even though they have two floors, only the ground floor was open when I went there.
In case you are also wondering why the bookstore is called “haunted”, there is an explanation. According to Emilie Ferris, who visited this bookshop in 2011, the name was inspired by a local legend of the White Lady, “a ghostly woman swathed all in white and smelling faintly of violets who is said to prowl the stairs“. It is said that the White Lady has been sighted at least twice … I’m glad I did not know that when visiting the bookshop!
Apart from the bookstores mentioned above, you can also find other mainstream ones (for example Waterstone’s and The Cambridge University Press). As Cambridge is a university city, there are plenty of places to gear up for a lazy afternoon spent reading on the bank of the River Cam.
Till next time … happy reading!
PS: Except for the cover, all pictures were taken by me during the trip to Cambridge