Grab a bargain book ahead of the Scottish Ornithologists' Club AGM


The Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC) is gearing up for a busy autumn. The club's annual conference and AGM takes place from 26-28 October, but before that, from 1-30 September, they are holding a second-hand book sale at their headquarters in Aberlady, East Lothian. Aviemore, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, is the venue for the conference and AGM, with the Macdonald Aviemore Resort hosting the event over the last weekend of October.

The book sale begins today [Saturday 1 September] and visitors to the headquarters of the Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC) in Aberlady can take advantage of 50 per cent off all second-hand items. The collection includes bird identification guides for the UK and overseas, handbooks of particular species or bird groups, studies of bird behaviour and migration, and a host of other natural history publications. Collectable items include a selection of New Naturalist and Poyser titles, in very good condition. 

The SOC's history as a book trader stretches back to 1961, when it started selling new ornithological titles from the original headquarters in Edinburgh. At that time, it was almost certainly the only specialist bird bookshop in Europe, and probably the world. Susan Horne, SOC Librarian, explained the reason for the sale: "As with many high street retailers these days, it is increasingly difficult to compete with online retailers. Where we are situated is very picturesque, but there isn't the level of footfall to keep up with the generous donations of books that we receive from our members and the general public. We really value these donations, but we also have limited storage space. 

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"We hope that by having a big sale like this, the benefits will be manyfold; we'll shift some stock, raise some funds and create a bit of a buzz among local natural history enthusiasts. At the end of the day, all money from sales of the books goes directly to the charity so it's a win-win situation – the SOC has an educational remit too, so the more bird literature there is out in the community, the better. It's not all about raising funds; raising awareness is equally important."

The sale runs throughout September, open daily from 10 am to 4 pm, at Waterston House, Aberlady, EH32 0PY. For more information, visit the SOC website.