And I have a tip if you’re going in search of a page-turner that’s been passed on. Unlike other stuff in charity shops, you don’t want books to be in pristine condition (unless they are known classics such as Austen or Hardy).
There might be a good reason why that book looks unread. Someone started it, couldn’t get past the first three pages and chucked it in Oxfam’s direction.
On the other hand, a shabby old book that’s had its spine bent by at least a dozen people suggests a stonking good read.
And while I’m on the subject of recession reading, Helen Dunmore’s The Siege is just un-putdownable. Read her descriptions of besieged families cooking up the family guinea pig or sucking on a leather wallet for sustenance and you’ll never bemoan having to trim your food budget again.