Waterstones is hoping to raise £1m for Oxfam’s Ukraine appeal in an initiative backed by publishers and authors. The Read for Ukraine campaign will see the bookseller offer a curated selection of books, donated by publishers and their authors, with 100% of the sales to be donated to Oxfam’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The campaign will include a dedicated table in the front of every one of the retailer’s bookshops, including Hatchards and Foyles in central London, Hodges Figgis in Dublin and all Blackwell’s branches following the company’s recent acquisition of the chain.
Waterstones said its appeal for book donations had been “answered with goodwill and great generosity by authors and publishers” and it expects the campaign to run “for some months to raise as much money as possible for those affected by the crisis, with the book selection being regularly reviewed and refreshed in collaboration with publishing partners”.
The retailer will also work with Vintage to offer a special charity edition of Andrey Kurkov’s Death and the Penguin. The charity edition of the novel includes a new introduction by Kurkov, placing the novel in the context of the conflict in Ukraine. Vintage and Waterstones will jointly donate £10 for every copy sold to Oxfam’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
James Daunt, Waterstones MD, said: “We are very proud as booksellers to be able to work with authors and publishers to make this collective contribution to help the humanitarian effort to support those affected by the crisis in Ukraine. We thank the authors and publishers for their generosity. This is a compelling selection of books, with every penny from their sale going to support this urgent work.”
Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive of Oxfam GB, added: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone involved in the Read for Ukraine initiative for their support to people fleeing the devastating conflict in Ukraine. As humanitarian needs continue to grow, the money raised will help Oxfam and partner organisations in Eastern Europe to provide vital support to people who have already lost so much. With so many people displaced by the conflict, we are also working to set up safe travel routes for refugees and advocating for governments to honour their international commitments to the rights of all refugees.”