OXFORD author Philip Pullman sorted through boxes of secondhand books at the Oxfam shop in St Giles, Oxford, to help the charity.

Mr Pullman, author of the acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy, volunteered at the bookshop yesterday.

He turned up to support Bookfest, a two-week long campaign, which was launched on Friday at the Oxford Playhouse by authors Mark Haddon and Joanna Trollope.

The Bookfest campaign is asking shoppers to donate and buy books from Oxfam shops, and buy Ox-Tales, a series of short stories written by high-profile authors.

Mr Pullman, who said the last time he worked a till was pre-decimalisation, said he was very happy to support Bookfest.

He said: “It’s like putting a chocoholic in a sweetshop. I can see half a dozen books I’d like to take home with me.”

Fellow Oxfordshire author Nick Shakespeare will be helping out in the shop next Saturday.