Community forms a human chain, helps bookstore move 2,000 books

When October Books in Southampton, England had to move, around 200 volunteers came out to literally lend a hand
Illustration 54217824 © Eric Basir - bookshelf (© Eric Basir -

Moving is a pain in every way. It's time-consuming to plan, time-consuming to actually do, and it's tiring.

This is especially true if you have to move a store. Think of it: box after box of stock, all needing to be carefully packed, moved, and then unpacked and stocked in a new location. We're tired just thinking about it!

This was the plight that faced October Books, a small independent bookstore in Southampton, England. Rising rent prices forced the shop to change its location. And while the new location is thankfully only 150 metres (500 feet) down the street, there was still the matter of the thousands of books that needed moving. If only there was another way...

Come together

Turns out, there was: A human chain.

October Books put out the call for help with the move to customers on their website. And those customers really responded! They formed a 200-plus-person human chain from their old location to the new one. Then they passed the books from one person to the next until they had emptied their entire stock room. That's over 2,000 books!

Overnight, this story became an international sensation, and we think it's easy to see why.

It's got books.



It's got old-fashioned, using-your-head sticktoitivness.


Check. Check.

And above all, it's got people joining forces to make sure that a beloved local institution has an easier time staying afloat.


We love it when a town comes together!

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