Petersfield Bookshop inundated after ‘tumbleweed’ tweet

John WestwoodImage copyright Getty Images / matthew ashton
Image caption Managing director John Westwood said going a whole day without selling a book was a first

A 100-year-old bookshop has been inundated with orders after tweeting it had a “tumbleweed” day in which it had not sold a single book.

An employee at Petersfield Bookshop posted a picture of the store on Tuesday and said it might have been the first time it had not made a sale.

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

The shop’s managing director John Westwood said he had been “overwhelmed” by the response.

“I believe in this industry, but online ordering and Amazon has hit us hard. I’ve had to sell my flat to keep the store afloat and most evenings sleep on a camp bed in the shop.

“We have lots of big plans for the future, on how to expand and grow, we just need to get there first.”

Mr Westwood, who is well known locally as a fanatical Portsmouth FC fan, said since the tweet he had received more than 300 messages inquiring after books and 95 orders.

“It has been overwhelming, mind-blowing and very humbling. Book-lovers are a very special people, and everyone has been so supportive.

“I’ve carried on this store for my father – if you want to be rich you don’t go into the book industry. Books are special things and nothing beats going into a bookstore.

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

Image caption Author Neil Gaiman retweeted the bookshop’s message to his millions of followers

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

The shop, which sells antiquarian, second-hand and new books, has been at its current site since 1958 but celebrated its 100 birthday in 2018.

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