The Gruffalo for £2?! Derbyshire mum launches ‘cheapest children’s book shop in UK’

Jenny Tuton of Baby Book Swop.Jenny Tuton of Baby Book Swop.
Jenny Tuton of Baby Book Swop.

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Every child should have access to books- and that’s why, ‘mortified’ by the cost of children’s reads on the high street, Jenny Tuton set up what she believes to be the cheapest book shop in the UK.

Bolsover mum-of-two Jenny is celebrating four years of her unique creation Baby Book Swop, a website where parents can trade in unwanted books for new ones- or buy them at a fraction of their RRP.

Jenny came up with the idea in 2015 while visiting Bolsover and Shirebrook libraries with her three-month-old son.

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She said: “The library was nice to use for a variety of books- but when I wanted a specific book, like Dear Zoo or The Hungry Caterpillar, they could never be found.

Jenny Turton stocking her shelves with used and new books.Jenny Turton stocking her shelves with used and new books.
Jenny Turton stocking her shelves with used and new books.

“I went into town to see if I could buy copies and was mortified by the cost of new books on the high street.

“I then took to the internet to try and source used books on sites like Ebay, thinking they’d be better value.

“But the postage costs made them almost the same price as a new copy, so I got stuck and almost came to the conclusion that books were just expensive.

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“Then I had an idea. What if there was a website where parents could send their unwanted baby books and ‘swop’ them for different ones?

Jenny Tuton.Jenny Tuton.
Jenny Tuton.

“I started listing my unwanted books and after friends told their friends and they told their friends, we soon had regular customers sending their unwanted books and buying other peoples’.”

The second year of Baby Book Swop saw the website expand further to sell new books, at a fraction of the high street prices.

“We price check all our books and believe that we’re the UKs cheapest book shop in the UK,” added Jenny.

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In 2017 Baby Book Swop moved into a unit at Bolsover Business Park, facilitating storage for online stock and a small shop space.

Jenny is also passionate about working with local primary schools, setting up pop-up book shops and stalls and giving the schools free books in return.

She currently turns over little to no profit from Baby Book Swop, running the business off the back of her firm belief that books should be ‘affordable and accessible’ for all children.