Up to three free books can be taken on any one visit to a new charity shop established in The Spires shopping centre by Global Education Trust Bookshops.


All the unwanted books have been donated and would otherwise have been pulped or gone to landfill.

Emma Morgan (above) is lead volunteer at the new shop which joins two other recently opened charity shops in The Spires.

The trust, which at any one time operates around 20 free book shops around the country, decided to open a branch in High Barnet after an offer of an empty shop unit by The Spires management.

Trust administrator Lorraine Turner (left, above) with fellow administrator Rohail Suleman and Emma, said she was confident the Barnet shop would soon become self-sustaining.

“Once people get used to the idea that our books are free – and that we accept unwanted books – we tend to generate a natural turnover.

“Since we announced we are opening in The Spires loads of local people have promised to donate us books.”

She said the trust’s experience in other parts of the country is that a free book shop coexists both with a local library and traditional book shops, so she was confident they would not pose any threat to Waterstones’ outlet in The Spires or to Chipping Barnet library on the other side of Stapylton Road.

Emma, who lives near The Spires, said she was delighted to have the opportunity to become lead volunteer at the free book shop.

“I saw on Love Barnet that the trust was going to establish itself in Barnet, and I volunteered, as I have always wanted to work in a book shop.

“This is a brilliant new venture for me. I have more free time now from my work as a scriptwriter for Chaneel 4’s Hollyoaks so this will be a real change.

“We have some really good sections in the shop, with books for children, and on sport and arts, so it will be great meeting new people as they look at the stock.”

The trust was established in 2011 and once a shop opens, they tend to become self-sustaining quite quickly, said Rohail. 

“Sometimes if we get too many books donated, we let people take more than three at any time.

“Our aim is to become a community hub, and perhaps help promote other charities.”