250 People Form a Human Chain to Hand-Deliver 2,000 Books to Bookstore’s New Home

April 11, 2019 Updated: April 16, 2019

A non-profit bookstore in the United Kingdom has enlisted the help of an enthusiastic community to help move every single book from their shelves to their new location just down the road.

For the past 15 years, October Books, a bookstore in southern England, had been operating on Portswood Road in Southampton, but an increase in rent forced them to look for a new premises.

Through crowdfunding, donations, and loans, the bookstore managed to raise about $640,000 to buy a new home—the old premises of the old NatWest bank.

After successfully securing a new place, the staff had to worry about the logistics of the move. There were thousands of books that had to be moved 54 doors away to their new place.

So, the staff appealed to the community for help in forming a human chain to move every single book.

“We wanted to do something everybody could get involved in,” Clare Diaper, a volunteer with the bookstore, told The Washington Post.

“The idea of the human chain really came about because it didn’t need people to be physically fit or really strong. Anybody from young children to pensioners [retirees] could get involved. That’s certainly the community that turned out.”

They were hoping that at least 100 people would turn up to help. However, the actual number surprised them.

“On the day, we had over 200 people turn out, which was a sight to behold,” Amy Brown, one of the shop’s five part-time staff members, told NPR.

“It was just amazing, we started with 10 people having to run between shops and ended up with 250 people passing books,” Diaper told Southern Daily Echo.

It was reported that about 2,000 books were moved that day.

Diaper told HuffPost in a statement that the bookstore staff were touched to see the community coming together to help.

“It was a tremendous show of support and community and we’re moved and incredibly touched by it,” Diaper said.

“We are of, and for, our community and it is truly heartening to see that reciprocated.”

What a lovely effort from the community!