Preston book store has rescued 140,000 unloved tomes

Healthy Planet bookshop in Fishergate Shopping Centre which is run by volunteers has dealt with 144,000 books in its first year. Pictured is Lead Volunteer James Carroll at the free bookshop.
Healthy Planet bookshop in Fishergate Shopping Centre which is run by volunteers has dealt with 144,000 books in its first year. Pictured is Lead Volunteer James Carroll at the free bookshop.
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“There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away, when I was quite ignorant of its worth.”

The famous quote, from author Charles Dickens is apt for a bookshop with a difference that has just marked its first anniversary in Preston – and stumbled across a rare Dickens novel along the way.

The Healthy Planet bookstore offers customers reused and recycled books for free, in a bid to stop unnecessary waste entering landfill sites.

In its first year, the charity has rescued more than 144,000 books that were destined to be thrown away and end up on a scrapheap, offering them at no cost to shoppers in Preston’s Fishergate Centre.

Lead volunteer James Carroll (right) from Preston, said: “On a typical day we can stamp out between 200 and 300 books.

“Our location opposite the train station is handy as many people stop off at Preston.

“We have saved more than 144,000 from going to landfill. We also offer other free items that can be recycled such as videos and ornaments.”

The wares on offer include unsold books that have never been used, and range from children’s books to encyclopedias.

Many fascinating books have passed through the Preston stores’ doors including a first edition Charles Dickens novel, worth thousands, which has been kept to raise funds to keep the charity going.

Volunteers were also fascinated by a collection of handwritten stories and poems - dated 1898 - that were handed in.

The Healthy Planet Foundation is an environmental charity in the United Kingdom formed in 2007 by campaigner Shaylesh Patel.

Nationally every year it saves 380 tonnes of books from landfill and redistributes them through centres where stories are shared.