We get a lot of feedback at World of Books. Most of it positive, some of it quizzical and a few things that we probably can’t share here.
Of course, this is hardly unexpected. We sell around 6 million books a year to customers across every continent and 99% of the time everything goes swimmingly – but there are always exceptions.
But some of the most common enquiries revolve around who we are and what we do; so, here’s a little more about the World of Books story.
World of Books and Charities
The company was founded on the principle of buying unwanted books directly from local charity shops in the Worthing area. In time, the word spread and so did demand for our collection service. Now we collect hundreds of thousands of books every week from around the UK, all of which were destined for landfill.
As such, our initial principle has never changed – only expanded. We now spend over £1 million each year on purchasing books from charities, providing them with a much needed revenue stream and giving books a new lease of life.
World of Books in the UK
We are a British business. Indeed, we are the 22nd fastest growing business in Britain according to the 2012 Virgin Fast Track 100. World of Books employs over 300 people, mostly from the local area and yes, we do actually pay taxes.
World of Books and Used Books
Every day, literally tonnes of second-hand books show up at our headquarters in Goring, ready to be checked and sorted. We store over 1.6 million books (soon to be up to 2.2 million) in our expanding warehouses and recycle the rest.
All books are manually checked for quality, before being scanned in to our system. At this stage, the ISBN runs through an algorithm, deciding whether it goes into storage or gets recycled.
Because they are all pre-loved, quality can really vary. This is why we have our grading system of Acceptable, Good and Very Good to give customers an indication of what to expect. We never knowingly sell anything that is damaged or unusable and are always happy to provide replacements on rare occasions when issues do arise.
Used books have a story to tell and a history of their own. So wherever there is a demand for a rare or out of print book, we hope that we can help to continue that journey.
World of Books in Sussex
We don’t always scream and shout about what we do or where we are. However, this is changing.
World of Books is a Sussex-based business. It has grown to become one of the largest independent employers in the area and now we want to give even more back. That’s one reason why we are working with Chestnut Tree House, a local children’s hospice located just a few miles away.
Our geographical location is an important part of our identity. There are a lot of places where people can choose to buy their books, but of course we want as many of them to choose us. So the fact that we have grown from working in a glorified shed to a huge site in Goring-by-Sea is fantastic. We aren’t a global corporation or a faceless enterprise, World of Books is a company built on the enthusiasm for pre-loved books.
World of Books in the Future
What the future holds, nobody quite knows. However, our aim is to simply keep growing. We want to build awareness, work even closer with charities and provide better value for customers. If World of Books becomes to first place people think of when looking for second-hand books, then we will have achieved our goal. Oh, and we still don’t charge for second-class UK deliveries – just so you know.