Tuesday 24 October 2017

Bookshop left with mountain of useless school books due to minor changes in editions

By Maria Pepper

Aoife Fitzgerald of Readers Paradise with some school books.
Aoife Fitzgerald of Readers Paradise with some school books.

A Wexford shop which buys and sells new and second hand school books has been left with a mountain of useless books as a result of changes in editions ordered by the Department of Education.

'There is a huge demand for good second hand books but our problem this year is that five subjects have been updated from three years ago. I have €7,000 worth of books in a shed out the back that I bought from people that can't be used because of an edition might be a change of cover or a change of a sentence,' said Aoife Fitzpatrick, manager of Readers' Paradise in Wexford.

Aoife was echoing the frustration of parents who buy an expensive book for a son or daughter to discover that it can't be passed on to a sibling a few years later because of a minor change in the text.

According to Aoife the recently published new editions include French, CSPE and Maths while English books change every year.

People selling Junior Cert school books to Readers Paradise get credit towards the purchase of Transition Year or Leaving Cert books and those selling Leaving Cert books get cash, unless they want credit towards third level college texts.

Aoife estimates that the average cost of a new book list for a First Year student starting secondary school is €300, on top of the school diary, art supplies and photo-copying costs that most schools charge, not to mention the 'voluntary' contribution fee. A Leaving Cert book list will cost about €350 new. Buying the same books second hand will cost about €130 to €140. Readers Paradise which has been operating in Wexford for the past 16 years, has experienced a drop in the sale of second hand books to the shop due to people going online and using social media to buy and sell which is not recommended, according to Aoife.

'People get mixed up and buy the wrong editions. They're offered 12% off the cost of new books online but often they don't know if they're buying the right book or not. If they come in here, we can give them advice, we're here picking out the books for them.'

'I had a woman in the other day with four book lists. She went to have a cup of coffee and she came back and we had them all ready for her. She said it meant so much to her. What we would say is trust us. Look after your local businesses. If it wasn't for people coming in here selling and buying books, we would be gone,' said Aoife who is preparing for an increase in back to school trade in the next week. 'We have people selling us books the minute schools close for the summer. Once August comes, it's mayhem, we're flat out.'

Wexford People

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