“Books for free, no catch!” 

Books for Free - Newport, Gwent

Books for Free is a bookshop in Newport, South East Wales that, like its name suggests, offers free books! Run by the Global Educational Trust, Books for Free is one of just a few bookshops in the UK which offers their stock for free, another is situated in Gloucester, England.

The bookshop saves books from going into landfill or pulping by offering them for free to people who may not in other circumstances have access to literature on a regular basis. The shop’s manager, Kevin Hart, told the BBC, “We get a lot of people who sleep on the street coming in here for books. Some stay here for ages. They just sit down reading. We are like a drop in for some of them.”

Luckily, the shop is not short on stock, the BBC reported that some mornings, the shop’s staff of volunteers arrive to find piles of donations have been stuffed through their letterbox, allowing this bookshop to give a new life and home to unwanted books. What’s more, bookshops like Books for Free, offer a solution to empty shop units that may otherwise be taken over by squatters.

Kevin Hart explained, “A lot of people say they cannot believe it. They say they would love to have one of these where they live. They’re trying to open a few more but I do not know where they are going to be.”

Many first-time visitors to Newport’s Books for Free think there must be a catch to what appears to be such an amazing offer. However, the only stipulation in place at Books for Free is that shoppers are limited to 3 books a day, unless they are also donating new stock from their own pre-loved books. Lorraine Turner, an administrator from the Global Educational Trust told the BBC that the charity had previously run a similar project in Carmarthen for several years. She stated, “We’re just happy the books are not going into landfill and we are promoting literacy at the same time.”

So, if you’re in the Newport area and have piles of read books in need of a new home, why not donate them to Books for Free and give someone else the opportunity to read them? Plus, while you’re there, why not take a look at what’s on offer in the shop to add to your own reading list?

~ Catherine Muxworthy

Address: 72 Commercial Street, Newport, Gwent, NP20 1LR