TinyRevolutions – social distancing bookstall

Sarah Deakin is an ex primary school teacher and bookseller with a passion for sharing books, and often collects donations of unwanted books to hold fundraising bookstalls (the most successful to date was for the Save Sheffield Trees campaign). Here’s what she says about creating a (safe!) bookstall to raise money for a local food bank.

I was due to do a stall at a local flea market for the Sheffield Referendum campaign but it’s been cancelled, so the books have been safely in storage for a month in my garage.

During the last week I’ve been involved in setting up a local network of WhatsApp groups to support neighbours during the Covid19 crisis. I’ve become more aware of how difficult things may get, and that people in self isolation or quarantine may be in need of reading material, and set about organising a stall at home.

I advertised the stall on local FB and WhatsApp groups, and held it on my drive yesterday and this afternoon. I provided disposable gloves (which ran out yesterday, so today advertised again and asked people to bring their own), and asked people to bring bags and the correct change.

My daughter made a sign for the top of the drive, with strict instructions for only one person or family at a time to come down to browse. I insisted they wear gloves (everyone was very compliant) and I kept well back, only making recommendations and chatting from 2 metres away. People left their money in a tin so I didn’t have to handle any at the time, and then left so the next person could browse. 

It was a real success, and many people just popped along to say hello, and buyers often left a much larger donation than the suggested price. I raised £160 – plus I have loads of books left for another time. It was a win/win situation, really – books shifted from my garage, it was a way of being able to socialise at a distance, shared reading material for the lockdown and money was raised for the local foodbank.