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October Books, 243 Portswood Road, Southampton SO17 2NG  Open Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm
Web www.octoberbooks.org  Email   Tel 023 8058 1030  Fax 023 8058 1040
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The beginnings October Books opened in 1977 in a shop at 4 Onslow Road, Southampton. The founder members were all very politically active, and the shop was originally staffed by volunteers and run by a collective. In 1981 we became a neighbourhood co-operative, independent from any one political organisation, seeing ourselves instead as a community-based radical bookshop.

The move to Portswood Geographically, the Onslow Road site became rather isolated. The parking facilities for our customers were poor and the building had seen better days. The shop was once surrounded by alternative and co-operatively run businesses, but these businesses and the communities they served to a large extent moved away. Therefore, in April 2003 we moved to our current shop in 243 Portswood Road, a much larger shop on a main high street, and expanded our stock into more general bookselling, whilst maintaining our traditional radical stock range. After a long absence, Portswood has benefited from a quality independent community bookseller offering all the bestselling new titles as well as a huge selection of speciality and hard-to-get-hold-of books.

October Books today Two of the shop's founder members are still on the Collective. However, over the years the new members have brought change and diversity to the bookshop. From being staffed solely by volunteers, the bookshop now has three full-time members of staff, a pool of casual workers, and several volunteers. The Collective consists of both workers and non-workers from many different backgrounds.