Book-Cycle of Exeter

IMG_0055This past weekend we paid a visit to close friends who live in Exeter, Devon. A bleak day of exploring the city in torrential wind and rain was saved by a wonderful tea room (The Hidden Treasure) and a stop at Book-Cycle, a storefront bookshop with a difference: each customer can take just three books per day, and the price is whatever you decide to donate to the charity’s UK tree-planting and worldwide literacy efforts. Not quite as amazing a free-for-all as The Book Thing of Baltimore, then, but still quite a treasure trove with a great selection, especially of recent fiction.

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My husband and I came away with three books each for a total donation of £4 (the extent of the change in our wallets) – an incredible bargain considering he probably would have paid more than that just for the coffee table book on plants. Add on a copy of Takashi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat found at Oxfam Books and we spent just £5.99 for an excellent Saturday haul.

A welcome tea and cake stop.

A welcome tea and cake stop.

Book-Cycle has a number of branches in England (plus one in Rome), though none of them are particularly convenient for where we live. It seems pretty straightforward to set up your own Book-Cycle shelf in a café or shop, however, so perhaps I’ll look into doing that this summer – in addition to or instead of a Little Free Library.


What were your best recent book finds?

11 responses

  1. What a fantastic idea! Love the concept of book-cycle.

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    1. That and Little Free Libraries are such great initiatives. I hope I can get involved with one or the other this year.

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  2. Interesting. I’d enjoy the Sat. you had, too.

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    1. Books + tea + cake = pretty much perfect!

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  3. Oh, so jealous of your copy of Measuring the World. I think I put that book on my ‘hopeful reading list’ this year, and have since discovered that my library doesn’t have it. Your whole stack looks quite beautiful (even more beautiful than the food). 🙂
    The Book-Cycle thing is such a good idea!

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    1. I loved Kehlmann’s latest novel, F, so much that I’m trying to get hold of all his others. I may be visiting Vienna later in the year, so that would be a great opportunity to read more of this Austrian writer.

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      1. I must have seen your review of F, because I already have it marked on GR. 🙂

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  4. Bookish days out make up my favourite memories. We do one every year without fail for my birthday. I loved the Guest Cat. A very quiet, touching novel and perfect for a cat lady such as myself 🙂

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    1. Our friends aren’t really book people, but when I suggested we could spend the rainy day going around charity shops they said we should also drop into Book-Cycle, and even on a bare-bones description I was sold! Apparently the one in Exeter started with the library of a stately home whose owner died.

      Alas, I was disappointed with The Guest Cat, though I did race through it in less than 24 hours.

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  5. […] and it really intrigued me. It’s by Rebecca at Bookish Beck (@bookishbeck) and is about Book-Cycle of Exeter, a bookshop with a twist. I don’t want to give away too much, but if you love reading and […]

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  6. […] Bristol’s charity shops and Book-Cycle in Exeter, I bought another five novels during the weekend, including the Vann to reread and […]

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