BOOK-LOVING visitors to National Trust properties in Warwickshire have help to raise over £900,000 towards conservation work through second-hand book sales.
A rise in popularity of second-hand books has seen the book shops become a vital source of fund-raising at each property.
At Baddesley Clinton near Solihull the second-hand bookshop has raised a £761,000 since it opened 15 years ago.
Alongside raffle ticket sales, the money raised has also been used to conserve books in the library. There are 2,500 books on display and a further 1,000 in storage with some of the oldest books dating from 1565.
Each book could cost between £200 to £450 to look after. The conservation work can include repairing tears and missing leather, resewing and attaching detached pages and repairing the spine.
At Charlecote Park near Wellesbourne more than £77,000 has been raised since the book shop opened 12 years ago.
The money raised goes towards conservation work across the property. More specifically it helps with conserving the 3,500 historical books in the library.
Charlecote’s riverside location creates a damp environment in the house which can cause issues with mould and pests. The funds from second hand book sales helps tackle these issues and saves many rare and important volumes like Shakespeare’s Second Folio (rarer than the First Folio).
At Upton House near Banbury, the bookshop has been open for around 15 years and has raised some £60,500. The money raised continues to help conservation projects across the property. Recently, the money has helped towards sending a Bruegal painting to a specialist for months of conservation work.
At Coughton Court near Alcester, £85,000 has been raised since the stable yard second-hand bookshop first opened in 2007.
The money has gone towards various conservation work across the property, including the full re-wiring of the house and more recently specialist painting and tapestry restoration.
The second-hand bookshops are often run by teams of volunteers who sort the donations and keep the shelves stocked up with literary adventures.
“Each second-hand bookshop has its own story to tell, from its unique history and character of the buildings they reside in,” explained Tammy Sparkes, a bookshop volunteer at Charlecote Park.
“We rely solely on donations of books from members of the public to keep our shelves stocked. We’re incredibly grateful for donations towards stock or for the books themselves – there’s nothing quite like curling up with a good read!”
The properties welcome book donations. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk for further details.