Petersfield bookstore flooded after ‘tumbleweed’ tweet

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Getty Images / Matthew Ashton


The CEO, John Westwood, said spending a whole day without selling a book was the first.

A 100-year-old bookstore has been flooded with orders after tweeting that it had a “rolling plant” day in which it had not sold a single book.

A Petersfield Bookshop employee posted a photo of the store on Tuesday and said it could have been the first time he hadn’t made a sale.

The tweet was retweeted more than 7,000 times, even by author Neil Gaiman.

Store manager John Westwood said he was “overwhelmed” by the response.

“I believe in this industry, but online and Amazon orders have affected us a lot. I have had to sell my flat to keep the store afloat and most nights I sleep in a folding bed in the store.”

“We have many big plans for the future, about how to expand and grow, we just have to get there first.”

Westwood said that since the tweet he had received more than 300 messages asking for books and 95 orders.

“It has been overwhelming, amazing and very humble. Book lovers are very special people, and everyone has been very supportive.

“I’ve taken this store for my father. If you want to be rich, don’t enter the book industry. Books are special things and there’s nothing better than going to a bookstore.

“Seeing them, touching them, smelling them, is a special place.”


The author Neil Gaiman retweeted the library’s message to his millions of followers.

He thanked Gaiman, writer for The Sandman, Coraline and Good Omens, for the “orders we received as a result of Gaiman’s coup”.

The store, which sells old, second-hand and new books, has been on its current site since 1958, but celebrated its 100th birthday in 2018.

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