Tuesday May 16, 2017

This charity bookstore is drowning in copies of The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code is one of those books that, while incredibly popular, people don't tend to want to read more than once, says the manager of a charity bookstore in Wales.

The Da Vinci Code is one of those books that, while incredibly popular, people don't tend to want to read more than once, says the manager of a charity bookstore in Wales. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Listen 5:35

Read Story Transcript

A charity bookstore in Wales has more copies of The Da Vinci Code than it knows what to do with.

"Right now we've probably got 100 in this pile. If we kept everyone we got, we'd have a lot more," Phil Broadhurst, manager of the Oxfam bookstore in Swansea, told As It Happens host Carol Off.  

"We get them every time we're sorting books from our regular weekly deliveries. There's always one, and often three or four, and it's been like that for years."

The shop posted an image on Facebook last week showing a stack of of the Dan Brown bestseller in the store, with a sign that reads: "You could give us another Da Vinci Code...but we would rather have your vinyl! We urgently need more records to keep our customers happy! ...And to make more money for Oxfam!"

Records are where the money's at, Broadhurst said. 

"When we're talking about trying to make money for Oxfam for its work helping people around the world, vinyl is kind of the most wanted item, " he said. "The parents used to give us their vinyl because their kids and grandkids didn't want it, but now their kids and grandkids want it."

The same bookstore made waves last year when it shared a picture of a massive warehouse fort made out of donated copies of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

"We have hundreds in the shop," the deputy manager Katherine Eilbeck told As It Happens at the time.

oxfam overrun with 50 shades of grey books

Oxfam Castle Street Swansea built a fort last year out or copies of the popular erotic book Fifty Shades of Grey. (Vintage Books/AP/Wales News Service)

Still, Broadhurst doesn't want people to think they're ungrateful for the donations. 

Any books they can't be housed at the shop get donated in bulk to an online dealer. They only make a few cents per copy selling that way, but it adds up over time. 

"So times that by the number of Da Vinci Codes we've had over the years and probably we've made a lot of money off of Dan Brown," Broadhurst said.

And as unlikely as it may be, he'd hate to find the shop suddenly devoid of the popular novels.

"We do try to make sure there's always at least one. It's a bit like the rooks at the Tower of London, where they say if the rooks fly away then the tower will collapse," he said. 

"Like, if we don't have a Da Vinci Code or a Fifty Shades of Grey, then the walls of the bookshop will collapse."