A woman filled two suitcases with books in Waterstones’ Croydon branch picking out 160 titles for a friend in China.
The heartwarming story was retweeted and liked thousands of times on Twitter and now has more than two million views.
Waterstones Croydon’s senior children’s bookseller Rachael Nazarko, 31, spoke to South West Londoner after spending more than an hour recommending this zealous customer books.
Miss Nazarko said: “She just seemed to take it all in her stride, she didn’t think it was strange at all and we were all like ‘WOW!’”
First, they ran out of space as they piled books on the till then under the till.
Eventually, they resorted to leaving a little trail of books across the store and shelves were left completely bare when the woman was done.
Then the woman packed the books into two huge suitcases, the kind you get for a family holiday. It appeared she bought them for a single purpose.
While she couldn’t reveal the exact amount, Miss Nazarko told us the woman spent four figures.
She said: “It was the most money I’ve ever seen anyone spend on books, I have to say!”
A customer just came in and filled TWO WHOLE SUITCASES of books.— Waterstones Croydon (@WaterstonesCroy) March 10, 2020
"Just a present for a friend," she explained.
She just spent four figures on books, for a FRIEND.
She's single-handedly redefined friendship for me forever
The response has been positive with a tinge of jealousy, with many wishing they had a friend like that!
People reached out from across the world with a New Yorker getting in touch for Miss Nazarko’s red hot recommendations.
Highlights included Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall series which Miss Nazarko confessed she only read through her book club but they blew her away.
Miss Nazarko said the coronavirus had not affected book browsing but thanks to this viral tweet everyone knows they’re still open.