New subscription scheme gives old books a new life while raising money for High Peak charities

More than 10,000 books have already been donated to a new High Peak project which sees used books sent out to homes at a massively reduced cost.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:47 pm
Gemma Roe of Book Box the new monthly service sending out used books and raising money for good causes

Book Box High Peak is the brain child of Gemma Roe who saw a gap in the market with charity shops and libraries closed because of the pandemic so decided to collect and redistribute books to readers and raise money for wildlife charities.

The 41-year-old from Whaley Bridge, launched the social enterprise scheme, based inside the Transhipment Warehouse at Whaley Basin, in January.

She said: “I love reading and I wanted to reach people who love reading too. I can’t believe how well it has taken off and in such a short time.

Gemma Roe of Book Box the new monthly service sending out used books and raising money for good causes

"Last year during the first lockdown I was thinking I had my milk and a veg box delivered but there was nothing new to read as I couldn’t get to the library so there needed to be a service which delivers books to people and so Book Box High Peak was born.”

She put appeals out for people’s old books and was inundated as all the charity shops were shut.

Gemma said: “We were collecting books from people’s homes if they were isolating or shielding and very quickly we ended up with lots and lots of books and now after just four months we have more than 10,000 which is amazing.

“It is so beautiful to see it growing and we are excited about how it will continue to develop over the coming months.”

People sign up to receive books delivered to their door as a one off or monthly package. Options include four adult books, either fiction or non fiction, 12 children’s books or a family bundle with 20 books for kids and parents.

Gemma said: “We are only sending out books we would want to read so yes they are used but no bent pages or bits missing so it does feel like you are reading a new book. They are yours to keep or you could return them and get discount off your next order.

"Book are made to be read and passed on so more people can share the journey but many live on a bookshelf gathering dust so we wanted to give them a new lease of life."

People list their reading habits of what they do and do not like and all books are handpicked with the reader in mind for the small fee of £7 per month, £7.95 if you want to pick from the Book Box’s top 40 selection.

"The fee is to cover our picking, packing, and delivery costs,” explained Gemma, “and all the money is going to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Biodiversity Whaley because we need to look after our planet and they do such great work at a local level.”

As so many books have been donated Gemma is looking at opening a book shop in the summer.

She said: “I don’t think we are taking away from libraries we are adding a different experience we are like a milkround for the mind.

"We are not a charity shop but a not for profit social enterprise with the money we raise supporting ecological charities.”

To sign up or for more information on Book Box High Peak visit www.book-box.org.