Good Military Bookshops

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by von Poop, May 31, 2009.

  1. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    As much as I don't like padding out the massive pay packets of Oxfam senior executives I have occasionally bought from the bookshops in Lymington and Leamington Spa, which were more realistic in price (not just on military history). Note I said "were". I suspect "instructions from the centre" to follow the "find the most expensive copy on ABE and knock a bit off". The twerp I described earlier has even started differential pricing on DVDs now - presumably using a similar method - so that some of his wares are more expensive than to buy new if still in print.
    Markyboy likes this.
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Oxfam bookshops: as the matter is up for discussion, two anecdotes:

    First, I recall passing by one in Canterbury a good number of years ago. I hadn't intended to go there, but I thought I'd drop in on my way back to the station. Did so, found an interesting though common book on nature—late 19th century I think, and rather tatty. It was up for £18 and emptying my pockets I found I had something like £16.50 on me, so I offered the lady at the desk that. She told me, politely, that she wasn't allowed to give discounts, so I started to take the book back to the shelf to leave, at which she looked dismayed and asked if I really couldn't pay the £18. I told her it was all I had on me—I seldom paid for anything by card back then—and I had simply assumed the book had been donated and that a charity would be happy to take 100% of £16.50 rather than hope for that extra £1.50 to come along. This, I stress, was all very good natured, but I was still astonished when she decided to phone her manager—seemingly at home, because she first spoke to his wife—to ask whether it was ok to accept £1.50 less than the penciled amount! He agreed, but what an odyssey!

    Second, when I started a new course at university in London, I found my likely schedule was going to see me pass through the nearest town to my home a few times a week, so in an attitude of 'new start, new spirit', I decided to volunteer in the local Oxfam. I explained, briefly, that I was a postgraduate with a M.A. in Victorian Literature, I collected books, had done research work in the special collections of a London library, and had previous retail experience. It wasn't intended as bragging, more an attempt to reassure the manager that I was a safe pair of hands.

    He seemed quite pleased with my offer, but then it all went downhill: he went out back and returned with a glossy application booklet of thirty-odd pages and told me that I first had to apply to the national office, and that once they had approved my application it would be sent down to the local level for further consideration. I tried a little bonhomie and jokingly reminded him I was proposing a couple of afternoons a week, not a new career, but he started to explain how they were all having criminal record checks because 'children sometimes come in' and that because of the backlog of a new system there was no hope of getting through an application that side of Christmas—it was September!

    I politely withdrew my offer and decided that it almost certainly wouldn't have been a good fit fot me.
    Tomkil, brithm, 4jonboy and 2 others like this.
  3. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Isn't there a phrase "being your own worst enemy"?! Seems to fit their bloated bureaucracy...

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