OXFORD author Philip Pullman will work alongside volunteers at Oxfam’s flagship book store in Oxford as part of the charity’s books festival.

The writer of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy will be in the shop in St Giles on Saturday — and sign copies of his books for fans.

Mr Pullman’s appearance is part of Bookfest, which runs for a fortnight from Friday, to encourage people to donate as many books as possible to the charity’s shops.

The author will be given a tour of what goes on behind the scenes at the shop in St Giles, meet volunteers and help them to price books, stack shelves and work on the till.

Mr Pullman, who last week received an honorary degree from Oxford University, said: “I’m looking forward to doing a shift at the bookshop in St Giles and I hope it helps Oxfam with their latest fundraising campaign.

“Many years ago, I used to work in a public library in the Charing Cross Road in London, although I’ve never actually worked in a bookshop, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“If someone approaches me with a hopeful expression holding one of my books then I will do the usual thing and sign it for them.”

Nihal Alahendra, the manager of Oxfam St Giles, the second most profitable Oxfam store in the country, said he was delighted Mr Pullman had agreed to volunteer.

He added: “It’s very exciting because he’s actually one of the world’s best-selling authors. The fact that he wants to get his hands dirty in a second-hand book shop is a tribute to the work Oxfam does.”

Mr Alahendra said he planned to ask Mr Pullman to sign a first edition of The Amber Spyglass, the third instalment of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

“The dust jacket is not in perfect condition, so at the moment we have valued it at £25, but Mr Pullman’s signature should add to the value,” he said. “Nicholas Shakespeare, who is also a local author, has agreed to volunteer in the shop the following Saturday.”

The night before Mr Pullman’s shift, between 11am and 1pm, Ox-Tales, a series of short stories by well-known authors, are being launched at the Oxford Playhouse.

Authors including Mark Haddon and Joanna Trollope will read from the four collections of short stories, which cost £5 each and will be on sale in high street book stores.