Friday, 13 March 2015

Books For Free!

Free books?! Yup, that's right. I heard about this place a while ago and definitely had to have a snoop.  Books For Free (as part of Healthy Planet) has actually been open for a while now in its Preston branch, and it's great to see it's still running.  The initiative aims to rescue thousands of books from landfill by simply giving them away to willing readers at centres and festivals nationwide!

The Preston branch nestled itself into a large closed-down shop space in the Fishergate Centre, it looks rather odd when you go in - but honestly, there are so many fantastic books up for grabs.  I spent a long time looking through the shelves at every kind of book.  It was surprising to see so many brand new editions that didn't even look like they'd been read!

I found this brilliant looking 'A Book Of Princesses', a Puffin book of old (and unusual) princess themed fairytales. It's going to be fantastic for inspiration! I took the book to the counter, the absolute legend of a staff-member had a quick chat with me about the book, stamped the inside back cover with a Healthy Planet 'Pass me on when you've finished with me' stamp, and I took my new sort-of-purchase back to its cosy new home on my bookshelf.

My Uncle was Sir Francis Drake?

It's definitely worth having a look on the Healthy Planet website to see if there's a Books For Free centre near you, it's such a great ethos - and who can say no to amazing free books? Give them a home!


  1. Hi Emmeline,

    Have you heard that saying "All that glitters is not gold"?

    When I first came across "Books for Free" (it's Hatfied Galleria outlet) I was impressed by the initiative and wondered if I might offer my services as a volunteer. Before doing so I did a "due diligence" e et use on the Healthy Planet group of private companies involved and quickly realised that the above saying could well apply.

    During that exercise I exchanged E-mails with the senior volunteer who ran the Carmarthen "Books for Free" outlet which closed its doors after 4 years in operation, during which it fed £1000s into the Healthy Planet coffers. She told me that she has nothing good to say about Healthy Planet.

    More on this can be found in the comments following the Healthy Planet post "Books for Free Testimonials" ( ).

    Best regards, Pete

    1. Hi Pete!

      Thanks for that, I'll have a good read of the comments. It did seem like a really great project on the surface and it's a little conflicting as I'm such an advocate for encouraging regular reading!

  2. Hi Emmeline,

    I was initially impressed by the "Books for Free" initiative because I'm a great advocate of reusing rather than recycling (or at worst sending to land fill). What I do not like is the apparent basis for the operations run by Healthy Planet and others as "charities". In my opinion they are little more than tax avoidance schemes operating at the expense of local council tax payers.

    Best regards, Pete

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