Crowds retrieve 100,000 books dumped in skip

Shrek 2 and Postman Pat among most popular as Derry shop clears stock

People  browse beside a skip filled with new books which are being cleared from the   former Bookworm bookshop in Bishop Street in Derry. Photograph: Trevour McBride

People browse beside a skip filled with new books which are being cleared from the former Bookworm bookshop in Bishop Street in Derry. Photograph: Trevour McBride

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 16:35

Almost 100,000 new books were dumped into a skip outside a Derry bookshop today after the receiver ordered that the contents of the shop, which closed two years ago, should be disposed of.

Hundreds of people, many of them tourists, made off with handfuls, boxfuls and in some cases car boots full of books after they were dumped into a skip outside the former Bookworm shop in Bishop Street in the city centre.

The books, valued at £60,000 (€74,253), were all new.

They included academic publications, university coursework books, novels, sports books, plays, and professional publications for nurses, doctors, architects, quantity surveyors, solicitors and for accountants.

As word quickly spread crowds descended on Bishop Street to avail of the book bonanza. Many motorists double parked causing temporary traffic jams as they helped themselves to dozens of the books.

The biggest demand was for children’s’ books, especially Shrek 2, Postman Pat and Noah’s Ark.

Looking on as the skip was filled and re-filled with the books was Peter MacKenzie, the former joint owner of the Bookworm bookshop.

“I opened the book shop in 1978 and it was my life’s work until I was declared bankrupt in 2012.

“The books were my assets which were seized. The building was also seized and now it has been for sale for the last two years with an asking price of £375,000.

“Four years ago the same building was valued at just over £2 million.

“It’s heartbreaking to see what was once my life’s work being dumped into a skip but at least the books are being grabbed by members of the public and fair play to them”, he said.