The Big Green Bookshop has been inundated with donations after it was targeted by a thief on Wednesday (7th April).
Sam Jordison, co-director of Galley Beggar Press, set up a crowdfunding page yesterday (8th April) to reimburse the bookshop of the £600 that was stolen. In 24 hours, the page has received £2,525 which is 420% of the original £600 target.
Co-owner of the bookshop, Tim West, told The Bookseller the amount of support the shop has received from the community was "incredible".
"I didn't realise it was so much", West said. "When Simon [Key, co-owner] told me about it yesterday, it had reached £1,200 which is amazing and now that it's doubled it's simply incredible. For once, I'm vaguely speechless. When something like a theft happens, your faith in people is battered, but it's been completely rebuilt in less than 24 hours because of this. It's fantastic."
Jordison said on the fundraising page: "I'm a bit blurry eyed and cry-y now. This is amazing. Thank you. Let's see if we can make them a couple of month's rent as well then. Thanks again everyone. Target reached and busted... Of course, the more we raise, the more of a cushion Simon and Tim will have against future problems. The easier they'll be able to pay rent. The more amazing events they'll be able to put on. And heck. I hope they buy themselves a well-earned slap up dinner or two as well. They've done brilliant work (hard work! long beyond normal office hours and deep into weekends too) for a long time and deserve this. Please keep the money coming and keep showing the love."
West added: "We hadn't expected to even think of getting the money back. It's totally out of the blue. Now we've got to figure out what to do with all this extra money - it's such a brilliant problem to have."
West said he intends to invest the donations back into the community. The bookshop has launched a reward scheme for schools where 10% of book sales will go to nominated schools in the area and West said the money raised would be a "massive kickstart" for the scheme. He also said depending on the final amount raised, the bookshop could possibly take authors to visit schools, organise a mini author festival in the bookshop, or even start a prize.
Donations can be made here.