Today we received an unusual delivery – three Amazon book boxes addressed to ‘Oxfam’. These turned out to contain three brand-new (plastic-wrapped!) copies of a single work of fiction. We are always grateful for any donations we receive but this seems a little oddd. The dispatch note from Amazon informed that this was a gift from the author, sugesting that someone was not only trying to further our cause but also keen to have their books read. This isn’t so noteworthy in itself, writers have been trying to get book sellers to take their books for centuries, but it does seem to be part of a change we have noticed in the donations we’re receiving. Increasingly, we’re finding (often tucked into bags of other books) multiple copies of self-published books. There could be any number of reasons for this but I like to think it’s something to do with the growing profile of self-publishing (obviously 50 Shades of Grey is the classic example) and the actual difficulty that people experience in selling their self-published books (no matter how good it is, any book needs a huge amount of publicity). Perhaps this is too cynical an outlook and all we are seeing is an upswing in generous donations. Either way, we now have a much more esoteric selection of books available!