Times were tough for professional Writers and Publishers even before the recession struck. There have been those who were quick to apportion some of the blame to the practice of some charity shops selling brand new returns - not secondhand books - at knock down prices. Elsewhere in my blog I have made a link between the rise of Oxfam as a high street bookseller through specialist book shops, as one of the main reasons for the closure of independent bookshops, including my own local treasure. But there is another way of looking at this.
The 2010-2011 Oxfam accounts show a £20.9 million net trading profit from their charity shops. A considerable part of this must surely have come from book sales. Since then, the rapid expansion of their bookshops across the country will have increased that contribution. Factor in all of the many other charity shops selling secondhand books, and the total contribution of remaindered and secondhand books to charities must be collosal.
So, not only do we as writers and publishers provide some fleeting pleasure to our readers, but through the recycling of our books - first to be sold and read again and again, and then to be pulped - we make an inestimable, if unintended, contribution to those less fortunate than ourselves.
A reason to be proud. A reason to keep writing.