November 21, 2018

A bookstore in England sold a book that had been sitting on their shelves for 27 years


Patience is a virtue, so they say. 

Broadhursts Bookshop, a bookstore in England, sold a book that had been sitting on their shelves for 27 years, reports Shannon Van Sant over at NPR Books. The book, a children’s biography of William the Conqueror, was purchased by an “older gentleman who was buying several books on the Norman Conquest of Britain for his grandson,” Joanne Ball, the employee who sold the book, told NPR.

The story quickly went viral after the bookshop tweeted about it: “I have just sold a book that we have had in stock since May 1991. We always knew its day would come,” prompting thousands of replies. Many replies were from people with their own stories about books that took significantly long periods of time to sell.

Tamsin Roswell, a bookseller from Warwickshire, England, tweeted that it took her ten years to sell a copy of the book The Larger Moths of Warwickshire. Perhaps the story that brings the most schadenfreude is from Twitter user @captainrobs, who shared that during the 4 years she worked at a bookstore – on two separate occasions – the store was unable to sell their one copy of Piers Morgan’s autobiography.   

@BeckieofBubbles suggests that someone should “liberate” the long-standing books of bookstores, and turn them into a book collection: You know when people go to dog shelters and say I want to take home the dog who has been here longest. I’m going to this in bookstores. ‘Can you point me to the book you’ve had here the longest?’ That will be some random book collection!”

As we near Thanksgiving here in the US, we are thankful for this heartwarming story amidst a news cycle filled with garbage. Now go liberate some books from your local bookstore this holiday shopping weekend.




Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.