Norman Visits: Typing Pool Books

Melissa Lee
March 18, 2022

It’s no secret that secondhand books are the golden eggs for readers who want to read a title for cheaper than the bookstore price. Personal finances aside, buying secondhand is a great way to keep your hobby sustainable. It is estimated that in Australia alone over 320 million books are sent to landfill each year. That includes fiction, nonfiction, library books and textbooks! 

Passionate about making an impact on communities, Charlotte Young founded Typing Pool Books during the pandemic. Her self-run secondhand bookstore is serious about sustainability (evident through compostable packaging, colourful recycled paper bookmarks and a vast array of donated books ready for new homes!) and she dedicates 15% of all sales to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and $1 for each sale to Seed Mob.

In light of the devastating floods around Australia in early March, Charlotte has been dedicating the rest of the profits to flood relief.

Photo of Charlotte surrounded by books.
Charlotte, rehomer of fiction, memoirs, graphic novels and much more!

With over 800 books to choose from in her shop, there is truly something for everyone. We asked the one who handles the whole shebang to give us a rundown on her personal favourites.

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You get so many unique books donated to Typing Pool; what are some hidden gems in stock as of now?

Charlotte: I get so much joy from seeing what people order, especially when it's been on my TBR list or I've already read it. I usually write a little note or DM to the customer about how much I liked reading a particular title because I can't help but share my excitement with them.

A 1970's edition of Pride & Prejudice

Get it on Typing Pool

Genre: Classics / Romance / Fiction

Content warnings: misogyny, sexism, toxic relationship

Charlotte says: I finally read my first Jane Austen last year, and I absolutely adored it. This hardcover edition is also so cute!!

The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel

Get it on Typing Pool

Genre: Paranormal / Non-fiction

Content warnings: animal death, death, mental illness, racial slurs

Charlotte says: This is a weird one, but I seriously laughed so hard when I received this. I listen to a podcast called My Favourite Murder, and a long time ago they spoke about this 'Mothman'. This could be just a hidden gem for me, which would explain why it's still in stock haha

The Hite Report On The Family: Growing Up Under the Patriarchy by Shere Hite

Get it on Typing Pool

Genre: Feminism / Nonfiction

Charlotte says: Although I haven't read it myself, The Hite Report is mentioned so often in the feminist literature I've read. I think one of the major draws to me is that it's based on first-person data from 3000 questionnaires sent to women of all ages/locations/backgrounds. ‘This book is about the one subject that’s even more taboo than sex. . . .’ – Gloria Steinem

This Side of Paradise  by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Get it on Typing Pool

Genre: Classics / Fiction

Content warnings: abuse, alcoholism, death, incest, sexism

Charlotte says: Considering it's F. Scott Fitzgerald, it's not really a hidden gem, but this edition is one of the most beautiful books I've come across. I'm a sucker for the physicality of a book – the format, weight, paper type, front cover, etc., and this book just hits all the good spots.

Time-Life Library of Art series by Richard W. Murphy

Charlotte says: A retired UNSW art teacher donated all of their personal and teaching collection of art books, and I still have so many in stock. I especially adore the Time–Life Library of Art collection. Michelangelo and Da Vinci have already sold, but these titles are still waiting for their new homes.

What were some of the books that made you smile because you knew their new owner was in for a treat?

A Lonely Girl is A Dangerous Thing by Jessie Tu

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Content warnings: homophobia, mental illness, misogyny, racism, sexual violence, toxic relationship

Charlotte says: I was so excited to receive this in a donation and love sharing a great Australian novel. When I worked at a chain bookstore, I used to always recommend this as well. We could never have enough in stock and always sold out!

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Genre: Feminism / Memoir / Nonfiction

Content warnings: animal death, eating disorder, mental illness, panic attacks

Charlotte says: I felt like I had a personal connection to the person that ordered this because I know a lot of people read music bios, but I didn't know many that had read this one.

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

Genre: Feminism / Nonfiction

Content warnings: body shaming, eating disorder, fatphobia, misogyny, sexual violence, rape

Charlotte says: When I read this book a couple of years ago, I felt like it changed my life. The copy was also from my partner's grandmother, which made it extra special to send it to a new home.

The Portrait of A Lady by Henry James

Genre: Classics / Fiction

Content warnings: death, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, misogyny, sexism, suicidal thoughts

Charlotte says: One of my absolute favourite reads of last year and all time. It gets donated pretty often, and it never gets old knowing someone is going to read it!

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Genre: Classics / Horror / Thriller / Fiction

Content warnings: gore, sexual violence, murder

Charlotte says: I don't know if you can call it a ‘treat’, but I've never felt so uncomfortable and repulsed by a book (in a good way) that I felt almost nervous sending it as an order haha

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Genre: Feminism / Memoir / Nonfiction

Content warnings: abuse, eating disorder, self-harm, sexual assault, suicidal thoughts, rape

Charlotte says: Another great Australian book by a prolific writer. She also has one of the best bookcases I've ever seen haha

And finally, what titles have you set aside to read yourself?

Come by Rita Therese / War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy / Promiscuities by Naomi Wolf / The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

BONUS FUN FACT: Here are some of the books and authors that get donated most often to Typing Pool.
  • Life of Pi 
  • Anything Charles Dickens
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • John Grisham
  • The Weekend by Charlotte Wood
  • The Twilight Saga
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Kite Runner
  • John Green
  • Big Little Lies / Liane Moriarty in general
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • All Jodi Picoult

Please note: the content warnings provided in this post are sourced from internet searches – they are not exhaustive and are meant to be used only as helpful starting points.