Free bookshop returns to Ipswich town centre

The free bookshop will be opening in Upper Brook Street in the next few weeks.

The free bookshop will be opening in Upper Brook Street in the next few weeks. - Credit: Abygail Fossett

A popular free bookshop will soon return to the Ipswich high street. 

The Global Education Trust’s free bookshop was much-loved in the town and had built up a base of regular ‘customers’ before the pandemic forced it to close its premises in Princes Street. 

Now, the charity is delighted to announce that another branch will be opening up in Upper Brook Street. 

“It took a while for people to get their heads around the idea that all the books were free,” said lead volunteer, Lucy Mortlock.  

Customers are already popping in and out of the new shop as Lucy works to get it up and running.

Customers are already popping in and out of the new shop as Lucy works to get it up and running. - Credit: Abygail Fossett

Lucy says that patrons love uncovering hidden treasures amongst the donated books.

Lucy says that patrons love uncovering hidden treasures amongst the donated books. - Credit: Abygail Fossett

“We have a donation pot if people would like to leave a small contribution towards the charity and the running of the shop, but it's absolutely not obligatory.

"Every person who visits gets three free books per day.

“In Princes Street, we had a little community of regulars who came in frequently, there was a toddler group, and then some older people who enjoyed coming in for a coffee and a chat.” 

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The free bookshop accepts any donations and boasts a wide variety of genres, including children’s fiction. 

Lucy spent the morning setting up the new shop in Upper Brook Street, and has already had people popping in and out with books, and asking when the shop will be up and running. 

The Global Education Trust (or ‘GET’) has premises all over the UK, with the aim of promoting literacy by making reading freely available to all. 

“We’ve also donated books to schools and homeless shelters,” said Lucy.  

“We’re currently looking for donations. We’re also looking for volunteers as well.” 

Bev Vincent with her Coronation Bible that has a message from Enid Byton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bev Vincent the Coronation Bible with a message from Enid Blyton at the Princes Street Store in 2019. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Shops such as these can unearth hidden treasures.  

In 2019, a shopper at the Princes Street store was shocked to discover a Bible inscribed with a message from Enid Blyton, one of Britain’s most famous authors. 

Lucy hopes to have the shop up and running during the Easter holidays, and will be updating the shop’s Facebook page with more information. 

To enquire about volunteering or donating, please get in touch at: info@globaleducationaltrust.org