Students! A Very Warm Welcome to Oxford

OscarBlackwell’s has been selling books to Oxford students since 1879 – the year after Oscar Wilde graduated from Magdalen college with a Double First in Greats. It is safe to say that we know a fair amount about the book needs of students.

We know, of course, that finances are stretched and that the cost of buying the books you need can seem prohibitive. A large part of our summer months are spent working hard to make sure that the books thatbigonkey you have to buy are offered at the most affordable price we can manage. Please compare the prices in our shop with our competitors – both online and physical – you may be a little surprised and delighted 🙂 ‘Like’ our student Facebook page to keep abreast of our discounted textbooks.

Just a little taster of our textbook offers:


Visit our online shop page to see more

secondhandIn addition to the discounts we offer on new textbooks it is always worth checking our secondhand stock, located on the 2nd floor of the shop. Not only can you benefit from cheaper prices here but you may also benefit by selling your books back to us at the end of your course. You must hurry though, stocks are limited and sell out fast. You can call them on 01865 333633 to see if they have the book you require

Other ways that you can save is by taking advantage of our 342 promotions that run throughout the year – at the start of term both the Oxford Worlds Classics and Very Short Introduction series published by OUP are part of this offer. Our 342 promotion is entirely ‘mix and match’, buy any stickered stock and the cheapest is free – this means for example that you could pick up the Very Short Introduction to Game Theory, NW the new Zadie Smith paperback, and a Lever Arch File and get the cheapest item free.

rewards_panelOn top of all of this we also have a Reward Card which enables you to collect points every time that you spend – collect 100 points and you receive a £5 discount on your next purchase. Do sign up when you are in the shop…

And there is more! Come and visit our stand at the Fresher’s Fair and we will give you a card that not only entitles you to a one-off 20% discount (this discount doesn’t apply on nook ereaders & tablets, gift cards or stamps and is ‘best discount applies’) but will also enter you into a fantastic Prize Draw where you could win one of these lovely prizes: £500 Blackwell Gift Card, 5 x A Years Subscription to VSI Online, 5 x 12 return trips to London courtesy of the Oxford Bus Company, a £50 M&S voucher and other prizes besides…

I hope that you can see that the shop is genuinely competitive on price, but we are also aware that students are looking for value in addition to the cheapest prices. We believe that we can offer you an unparalleled experience in a range of different ways;

reading listsWe work throughout the year with the Colleges and academics to make sure that we have the right books in the right place at the right time. Reading Lists at Oxford can appear to be dauntingly long and some books are very difficult to source – our booksellers are on hand to offer expert advice on these and all sorts of other book queries

For the first two weeks of term we are setting up a ‘Student Lounge’ in the Norrington Room – you are encouraged to stay as long as you like, take advantage of our free wifi, compare and contrast books from your reading list to make the most informed decision, meet other students and listen to some world class academics talk about what inspires them about their subject. So far we have the following people confirmed:

margaretmacmillanMargaret MacMillan, Wednesday 9th October at 3pm

Warden of St Antony’s College, on History & Politics


armandArmand d’Angour, Thursday 10th October at 3pm

Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Jesus College, on Greek and Latin Classics


francesashcroftFrances Ashcroft, Friday 11th October at 3pm

Fellow of Trinity College and is a director of the Oxford Centre for Gene Function, on Women and Science


Tim Harford, Friday 11th October at 4.30pm

Economist and journalist,  author of four economics books and longtime columnist for the Financial Times, on Everyday Economics


NigelDaveEdmondsNigel Warburton and David Edmonds Tuesday 15th October at 3.30pm for Nigel, 4.30pm for Dave

of the insanely popular Philosophy Bites podcasts


ArchieBrownArchie Brown
, Wednesday 16th October at 3.30pm

Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, on ˜Why did Communism end in Europe and mutate in Asia?’

marcusdusautoyMarcus du Sautoy, Thursday 17th October at 2.30pm

Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics and Fellow of New College, on the Wonder of Mathematics

tariqramadanTariq Ramadan, Thursday 17th October at 3pm

Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, on why the study of Religion is so important


herringjJonathan Herring, Friday 18th October at 3pm

Tutor and Fellow in Law at Exeter College



These talks are absolutely free to attend – visit us at the Fresher’s Fair to collect a leaflet with the dates and times of the individual talks. Hearing world-class experts talk about their passion for their subject is always inspiring, whether you share their passion for the subject or not. You are very welcome to attend any, or all, of these talks and celebrate learning and life!

Our year-round events programme is something of a jewel in the crown of the shop – you can see ourFaustus in the Norrington Room current events listing here on our online Shop Page. We host a huge variety of events from local poets to star names – we have even had Creation Theatre put on full-blown performances in the shop over the past few years  and truly believe that there is something for everyone…

Muhammad Ali '3 time World Champion' 6.4.92

One day in June 1992 we even had Muhammad Ali in the shop – you just never know who you might bump into

We always look to put book promotions in front of customers to challenge and reward – for example this start of term we have ‘Wise Words for Young Minds’, ‘Books to Change Your Perception’, ‘Campus Novels’ and a fantastic selection of some of the best non-fiction in our ‘Ideas’ 342 promotion. You will not be short of required reading in your time at Oxford but our aim is to be much more than a ‘textbook supermarket’ – and a fantastic resource for Christmas shopping before you head home at the end of the year!

Books are our passion but we also stock a wide range of functional stationery and a gorgeous selection of gifts, many with a book theme such as

Music ShopIn addition to the main bookshop we have a specialist Music Shop that stocks printed music, CDs, music books and musical instruments – perhaps it is time to learn the Ukulele 🙂 Across the road from us is our Art & Poster shop – many, many people fall utterly in love with this wonderful shopArt and Poster. Look out for Jonny’s magnificent windows – they will put a smile on your face year-round. For the start of term ALL posters are in a 342 offer, perfect for brightening your room 🙂

On the first floor we have a very popular Caffe Nero, which has a magnificent view of the Sheldonian Theatre – many a tutorial takes place here!

Oxford is a very special place to study and we recognise that we have a role to play for undergraduates, postgraduates and academics. We have been doing it for a very long time and plan to be doing it for a long time more. We would love you to befriend the shop, we think you will like us…

As Richard Ovenden, interim Bodley’s Librarian, recently said “We are so lucky in Oxford to have Blackwell’s, both civic amenity & cultural institution!”

TwitterIconWe are a very social shop you can follow us on Twitter, like our main Facebook page, or our Student FBFacebook page, we are on Pinterest and, of course you can subscribe to this blog to ensure that you always know what is going on at Blackwell’s

Do come and play!


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