The plea went out a few weeks ago from the bookstore in a port city in southern England: “Care to lend a hand?”
Volunteers were needed for “heavy manual work” in shifts. It was “essential” that they be able to lift and carry boxes and office supplies.
Among the supplies: thousands upon thousands of books.
The appeal from October Books, a nonprofit that began 40 years ago as a “radical” bookshop, came after a rent increase forced it from its old home in Southampton, Jess Haynes, a member of the collective and one of the few paid employees, said on Wednesday.
The shop was looking to move lock, stock and barrel about 150 meters (just under 500 feet) to a three-story building that used to house a bank. Would anybody respond to the call for help?
This past Sunday, the bookstore got more than a helping hand — it got hundreds.
A human chain began forming from the old October Books stockroom, snaking past 54 doors to the new building.
The shop stopped counting after about 250 people showed up, Haynes said by phone.
Hand-to-hand, the chain of people passed thousands of books over a few hours.
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