Curl up with a good book as social enterprise goes online
Third Force News, by Susan Smith
Scotland’s social enterprise book store is bringing a conscience to online book sales with the launch of a new website.
Bookdonors trades in new and used books for the benefit of people, charities and the environment. All of its sales fulfil its triple social mission to provide flexible and adaptable employment opportunities, to help protect the environment by promoting re-use and to provide additional income to a range of charities.
With the launch of its new online site, offering 250,000 used books and 50,000 new titles for sale at the click of a button, it hopes to grow the business even more and offer people across Scotland the opportunity to buy books ethically.
Crime fiction author Lin Anderson visited Bookdonors, which is based in Tweedbank outside of Galashiels, to help launch the website.
She said: “By offering used and new books side by side this website gives customers real choice. Purchasing books from Bookdonors will support an organisation which has strong social and environmental objectives, which provides an alternative ethical choice to larger ecommerce sites.”
The social enterprise, which sells books on behalf of charities, already employs 32 staff and last year sold 8,000 books a week, helping to create a turnover of £1.4m and raising £200,000 for charities.
“Research that we commissioned identified that many customers are seeking alternative suppliers that are less commercially focused and a have strong ethical or environmental dimension, ” said managing director Tom Murdoch-Kenny.
“By putting our inventory of 250,000 very good quality second hand books online and adding options to buy new for a further 50,000 titles, we feel we are giving the customer real choice from an alternative source.”