Books rescued for giveaway store

Herald Series: Tatiana Nogueira at Books for Free's Botley store Tatiana Nogueira at Books for Free's Botley store

A GREEN charity offering free books to visitors has set up in an empty Botley shop.

Healthy Planet has taken premises next door to the old Habitat store to run the Books for Free project, which “rescues” books from landfill by giving them away.

The charity, which has 25 outlets nationwide, makes its money from landlords paying them a donation, rather than paying empty property tax.

As a result, it has seen its income rise from £13,000 to £2m in two years.

Founder Shaylesh Patel said: “This is not about tax fiddling. It’s a good option for all concerned. We agreed terms with the taxman beforehand and have paid several thousands of pounds as a result.”

“We are ready to move out of a property if the landlord is able to let it.”

Volunteer Tatiana Nogueira, travels to Oxford from London to staff the Botley store at Seacourt Tower.

She said: “I think this is a good idea. I love books and am always pleased when people find books that they have been looking for for ages.”

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