A bookstore in Southampton, England, has gained global attention for a heartwarming reason that has small business lovers swooning.
October Books, which first opened in 1977, needed to relocate. The shop had been at its location for 15 years, but skyrocketing rent costs meant it was time for the bookstore to find a new home.
The bookstore owners were able to purchase a former bank building for its new home, which was less than 500 feet away from the current location.
While the bookshop didn’t have far to move, (260 steps, according to their Twitter feed) the entire contents of the store still had to be emptied and carried down the block to the new location.
October Books asked its community to help make the move a success, asking for volunteers to “lift and shift” heavy bookshelves, inventory and all things bookworm related to the new address.
One hour. 200+ people. One stock room, emptied. THAT is community, friends pic.twitter.com/LbgeAUMa3y
— OctoberBooks (@OctoberBooks) October 28, 2018
Over 250 volunteers responded to the plea, forming an incredible human chain down the block. Books were passed from hand to hand, 150 meters to their new home.
Jani Frank, who was part of the human chain, said the experience left her “in awe.”
“It’s amazing, the power of community coming together and achieving something like this,” Frank told The Guardian. “October Books have done really well. I’m in awe.”
.@OctoberBooks (forced to relocate after a rent increase) sent out a plea for volunteers to help with the move. Hundreds of people showed up. What a sweet story for those who appreciate books, independent bookstores and nice people. (via @NYTimes) https://t.co/yS5xEZy9Em
— Maaza (@maazaland) November 1, 2018
Clare Diaper, who volunteers at October Books, was deeply moved by the outpouring of community support.
“I get quite emotional thinking about the amazing people who have come out to support us so far,” Diaper told the BBC. “There were local cafe owners, people from the local shops, families and general passersby, including those who were standing at the bus stop.”
October Books plans to use their new building not just for their benefit, but for the benefit of the entire community.
The bookstore will occupy a portion of the building and will rent out the first floor to the homeless charity Society of St. James, which works to provide long-term living solutions for homeless people.
This tiny bookstore is proof that great things come from small packages.
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