Books glorious books!

Celebrating World Book Day and our brilliant book volunteers

Adventure stories. Travel. Crime. Fairy tales. Just a few of the many different types of books that Rowcroft sells in some of our stores. Today on World Book Day, we’re celebrating books in all their fabulous forms, and we’re saying a massive thank you to our amazing book volunteers who help in preparing them for sale to raise vital funds for the hospice. Here Susan, also known as ‘Susan Books’, from Rowcroft’s St Marychurch shop and Peter from Rowcroft’s warehouse give a fascinating glimpse into their volunteer roles in the world of books.

Susan’s role in Rowcroft’s St Marychurch shop

Soon after Susan retired from her job as a children’s nurse, she developed a real interest and passion for books. Susan began working as a book volunteer for Rowcroft, helping to improve the small book area in Rowcroft’s St Marychurch shop. Twelve years on and the shop’s book section has trebled in size, and you can find Susan sifting through and organising donated paperbacks and hardbacks. She’s a font of all knowledge on all things books.

Expanding the book section

“Soon after I started as a volunteer, we expanded the small book area in the shop,” says Susan. “I later made more changes to include a specific genres like military, history, naval, craft, cookery, eclectic, travel and local books that I felt would suit the Babbacombe area.”

Day-to-day role

“My day-to-day role involves sorting hundreds of books per month, as well as maps, vinyl records and CDs,” says Susan. “I make sure to rotate the stock as often as time allows, keeping it all in alphabetical order and ensuring the shelves are stocked.”

The benefits of volunteering

“I have always found volunteering amazingly rewarding,” says Susan. “The best part about my role is meeting people and being part of a great team. Being newly retired it’s been a wonderful way to make friends – both with other volunteers and with customers. I now have many regular customers and I really enjoy chatting with them about books. My local book section is a particular favourite section with customers. These historical books are of great sentimental value and are literally keeping our local history alive and preserved.

“Books are the way we define ourselves as individuals as well as a way to improve our knowledge; and they help children to understand the world we live in. I became a grandma for the first time last October and I cannot wait for quality Grandma Susie reading time with my gorgeous new granddaughter!”

Peter’s role as a book volunteer in Rowcroft’s warehouse

“I became a volunteer for Rowcroft in early 2019, sorting books in the Newton Abbot warehouse in Brunel Road,” says Peter. “I feel very lucky to work with really friendly people, and I still have my enthusiasm for the printed word. More recently, I have been asked to sort puzzles, DVDs, CDs as and when required, and also help out in Rowcroft’s Emporium shop on the other side of the wall from my sorting area. Variety is the spice of life!”

Peter’s passion for books

“My latent passion for books probably stems from my early beginnings, encouraged by schoolmasters for whom I have always had the greatest respect,” says Peter. “However, since my youth I’ve suffered from mild narcolepsy and I get very drowsy, so I rarely read fiction, preferring instead what I would describe as ‘peck and go’ books which do not require concentration for long periods. To put this into perspective, Tolstoy’s mammoth War and Peace would be a total no go area for me!”

Advantages of volunteering

“It is a pleasure to come to work at Rowcroft,” says Peter. “The physical side of the role gives me a bit of a workout without needing to take up gym membership. I am fortunate to have stayed quite fit for my age and so I like nothing more than to walk in to a full-to-the-brim stock area and try to finish the sorting before I leave. It gives me a bit of a buzz and I am very happy to give my time to a very worthwhile cause.”

We welcome your donated books

Rowcroft is always on the lookout for donations of good quality books, so if you’re having a clear-out, please do think of us. If you’re interested in volunteering your time for the hospice, please see our volunteers page.


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