Tom Fletcher and I will be reading tomorrow night – Tuesday 6 July – between six and seven pm at Oxfam, Didsbury, 778 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20. The event is part of Oxfam’s national Bookfest, back for a second run. There are numerous other events at the Didsbury branch and at many other Oxfam shops around the country.
Oxfam has come in for a lot of criticism from secondhand booksellers who regard it as having unfairly encroached on their territory; indeed, the charity has been blamed for putting some dealers out of business. But it’s hard to see Oxfam as the villain here, raising money as it does to ease the effects of poverty around the world. You can’t really argue with that. I love secondhand bookshops – more than I love new bookshops, strange for a writer perhaps, but I was a reader before I became a writer – and I feel the loss of every secondhand bookshop that closes. But I also like to support a good cause, both by shopping in Oxfam and by supporting the charity in other ways, such as taking part in Bookfest.
So, if you are near an Oxfam shop over the next week or so and they’re staging bookfest events, get down there. If you’re in Manchester at a loose end before the Holland v Uruguay semi-final tomorrow night, come down to Didsbury and Tom and I will read to you.