This week I am going to be talking about the little gold mines in your towns and cities. Oh yes it’s charity shops!
I have always loved charity shops, even when I was but a young one. I used to always go to them when I visited my grandma because the best ones were where she lived. She always said that she only went in them when we came to visit because we seemed to find the best stuff. As there are many wonderful things in charity shops that you would have no idea where in there unless you went in. One reason why I love charity shops is because everything in there was someone else’s at some point. Everything has its own story and by buying things from there you are technically helping the story continue. Whether it is that the item of clothing was too small or too big for the person. Or the person had sadly passed on and you are giving the item a second life.
Now, onto the items that I tend to buy from these magical places. I mainly go into these wonder shops to get books. Trust me it’s the best place to purchase them. You want to know why? It’s because there are people in this world who read a book once and then donate it. I would only do that if I thought the book wasn’t all that great but that’s hardly ever. So there are books in charity shops that haven’t got broken spines. That hasn’t been out more than one week. And the best part of all they tend to be between 50p – £2 and £2-£4 for hardbacks. It’s truly amazing! Also it is the best place to find 1st editions of classic books. You know the ones that have that old and distressed smell and look. The books that look like they have been loved so much that it’s sad not to help them continue telling their tale. The best classic book I have found in a charity shop is a tusitala edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was right at the back of the book section and because it is almost pocket sized it had been jammed in between two massive hardbacks. It was an excellent find for £2.50. I also managed to buy Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn hardback for £1.
While in these fabulous shops I also love to look at and in the sea of clothes! I love charity shop clothes, they are so amazing. They all have their own past and hold their own stories. There is such a variety of clothes and sizes and styles that on some days it looks like the fashion museum dumped its collection in one town shop. On some days you can find anything from Superdry and Hollister to handmade clothes and brands you have never heard of from the 1970s. It truly is amazing. I tend to find and buy the unknown items. This is partly because I don’t normally like to wear all this branded stuff; I do sometimes but hardly ever. I tend to get shirts, jackets and jumpers from charity shops. I once found a Levis jacket for £7 and I recently bought a handmade high collar jacket for £5. So my advice, if you want that really expensive clothing item, check in a charity shop first! It won’t be brand new but you will help out an amazing cause and save some money! Try it for me.
All charity shops are amazing. They get money to do amazing things with. Such as help cure cancer to help support the older generation in times of need, they are all really good causes. But I have to say that I prefer to go into cancer charity shops over other ones. I am in no way saying that one is better than the other, it’s just my personal preference. This is because of how it has affected me personally and I feel that it is something that affects everyone at some point in their lives. It can be a very cruel thing to happen but all you have to do is find something you love and go buy it in order to help out! It’s as simple as that! You want a brown leather jacket? Sure £10 in a charity shop. It also looks better then new ones as they don’t look at distressed and almost vintagey than charity shop ones. You want a hat for a wedding? Sure £7! Some of the things have been loved more than others but I feel this adds to the story even more. Even if you do prefer items that are fairly new then there is always the chance of finding clothes that have been worn once then donated. Or if you’re really picky then clothes that have never been worn with the tags still on them! It is honestly a crazy world.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Wrongful Death by Lynda La Plante
2nd Chance by James Patterson
All images photographed by Charlie Hall