Poet's 'rite of passage' after book turns up in Oxfam shop

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A poet and regular blogger has posted an account of his feelings, after being informed that a signed copy of one of his poetry books had turned up in a charity shop.

Matthew Stewart, whose blog is called Rogue Strands, addressed his post to the recipient of the signed copy of his book, The Knives Of Villalejo, that a friend let him know had appeared at the Oxfam shop in Chichester.

In his post he says ”thank you for granting me this rite of passage: the first time my book has been spotted in a charity shop. On the one hand, I hope you enjoyed it and then passed it on, rather than regretting your purchase. And then, of course, I hope that you yourself chose to give it to Oxfam. Far too many books in charity shops are from personal libraries that have been dispersed by relatives.”

He adds: “I’m pleasantly surprised not to feel annoyed at all that it might have been discarded. Instead, I’m excited to wonder about the prospective new life it’s been granted. As soon as I get back to Chichester, I’ll be popping in to the Oxfam shop to find out whether it’s found another owner.

“In other words, I'm proud of joining the ranks of the charity shop poets. I've always loved second-hand books, and my collection's now among them! For that, Camilla, I’ll always be grateful to you.”

If you can’t get to the Oxfam shop in Chichester, signed copies of Matthew’s collection are still available via his blog Rogue Strands. He has also published two pamphlets with HappenStance Press, and lives between Extremadura, Spain and West Sussex.








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Andy N

Thu 5th May 2022 12:27

Happened with my first poetry book 'Return to Kemptown' in a oxfam shop in Manchester. Autographed too. I loved seeing it there. Better than the bin is my thoughts.

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 20th Apr 2022 15:59

Know the feeling. A signed copy of my self-published "Singing
Words" turned up in a charity shop (now closed) in Paddington
here in central London. It pleased me to note that the asking price
was almost that of the original RRP.

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