A family-run bookstore in Hampshire took no orders for the first time in 100 years of being in business. Robert Sansom, an employee who has been with the company for the last 13 years, posted pictures of the empty shop on Twitter.
He then tweeted, “Tumbleweed… not a single book sold today.”
Author Neil Gaiman saw the tweet and decided to share it with his 2.8 million followers on social media. The response was immediate, with dozens over orders coming into the shop. Sansom said he was up all night trying to keep up with the demand.
“I couldn’t believe it!” he told The Metro. “It’s been a real kindness of strangers story. The number of likes and retweets started going up right before my eyes. It was like it was animated.”
Sansom said he stopped replying to messages at 2:00 AM.
The Same Family Has Operated the Shop for 60 Years
Although January and February are typically the off-season for the Petersfield Bookshop, Sansom said the sales drought with no money was quite unusual. Threats of inclement weather and the spread of the coronavirus likely didn’t help.
A few people came into the store to browse, but nobody really wanted to buy anything. When it got to be about an hour before closing time, they realized a single transaction hadn’t happened that day.
The bookshop gained 1,100 new followers in just 15 hours. It only goes to show that one act of kindness from a single click can change a person’s circumstances.