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Books: Oxfam shop, St. Giles, Oxford.
In a town as academically inclined as Oxford, it is almost inevitable that there are going to be a lot of books around. This shop is a charity shop run by Oxfam, the world renowned charity. You may not know that the term Oxfam is actually a contraction of Oxford Famine Relief, as this is where the charity began.
The shop itself, unlike many charity shops, deals solely in books, and is set out like a conventional bookshop (over two floors) divided into sections by subject. there are also a number of old and rare books for sale. To be honest, I have seen commercial bookshops that didn't have as good a selection.
Apart from the fact you can pick up a real bargain, you have the additional "feelgood factor" of knowing you are helping a good cause. Well worth a look.
P.S. The website is worth a look as well.
What to pay: Prices vary, but certainly much cheaper than going to a conventional shop.
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Books: Buy any book at Blackwells
Buy a book here even if you don't read a lot. This shop is a treasure so walk out with something just say that you got something here! Or get a dvd or accessory item. What I particularly love here is the used book floor (the very top floor). I saw many titles of Paulo Coelho books here, a fabulous poetry and foreign language section. Many students turn in books that they don't need for class here at the largest book shop in studious university centre of England.
What to pay: as little as a pund for many used books and little items. Typical hardcover books are usually 15 pounds and up
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Blackwell's and the White Horse: Books and Beer
Blackwell's Bookshop next to the White Horse Tavern - what more does the aspiring scholar (or scholar wannabee) need?
And the Sheldonian Theatre is right across the way. This stretch of Broad Street is one of my favorite places in the world.
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Blackwell: Comprehensive bookshop
One of the best general bookshops you will find anywhere in the UK. The most comprehensive selection of books on all subjects is in the vast Norrington Room in the basement. More general fiction, poetry, drama and travel books are on the ground floor. The shop is much more extensive than it looks from the outside.
Once exclusively an Oxford bookshop, the Blackwell name has been absorbed into a business empire and Blackwell's shops can be found in many towns now. Many of these are much smaller and not a fraction as good as the flagship shop.
Blackwell's also now own Heffers, the big bookshop in arch-rival Cambridge!
Books and carcases
Oxford has probably the best selection of bookshops in the country, all along Broad Street & into George Street. Cornmarket and Queen's street are the main modern shopping streets, they have the same old boring high street names and a ghastly shopping centre each (the Westgate and the Clarendon). The best place to browse is probably the Covered Market (although soft-hearted vegetarians should definitely avoid it due to the way the butchers present their stock!). It's off the High Street just East of Cornmarket and full of all sorts of fascinating stalls, shops & eateries; don't miss the Cheese stall (for Oxford Blue of course) at the back.
Oxford has many great bookshops; the most famous of which is Blackwell's.
What to buy: Blackwell's is reasonably expensive but has a great selection - particularly academic books.
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