Hundreds of Bibliophiles Formed a 'Human Chain' to Help a UK Shop Move 2000 Books to Its New Location

Michele Debczak /

Bookstores getting priced out of their neighborhoods is a sadly common story, but this one has a happy ending. A community bookstore in Southampton, UK found 250 volunteers to help transport its inventory to a new store.

According to The Guardian, the group of bibliophiles lined up between the old October Books and the new store in a former bank building down the road on Sunday, October 28, forming a human chain that carried 2000 books 500 feet to their new home. Claire Diaper, a volunteer at the shop, told The Guardian she was moved by "the tremendous show of support and community."

October Books, a "radical" bookstore cooperative named after the Russian Revolution, first opened in 1977. It had been operating out of its previous Southampton location for 15 years when rising rent prices pushed it out of the old address. After raising nearly $622,000 in community donations, the shop announced it would be moving into an old bank building in the neighborhood and storing its stock in the building's vault.

October Books joins the list of unusual bookstore locations around the world. Other businesses have been known to sell books out of former barns, trains, and cathedrals.

[h/t The Guardian]