John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

How Do You Move A Bookstore? With A Human Chain, Book By Book


People pass books down a chain to help the bookstore October Books move to a new location on Sunday in Southampton, England.
October Books
When October Books, a small radical bookshop in Southampton, England, was moving to a new location down the street, it faced a problem. How could it move its entire stock to the new spot, without spending a lot of money or closing down for long?
The shop came up with a clever solution: They put out a call for volunteers to act as a human conveyor belt.
As they prepared to "lift and shift" on Sunday, they expected perhaps 100 people to help.
"But on the day, we had over 200 people turn out, which was a sight to behold," Amy Brown, one of the shop's five part-time staff members, told NPR.
Shoulder to shoulder, community members formed a line 500 feet long: from the stockroom of the old shop, down the sidewalk, and onto the shop floor of the new store.
Cafes brought cups of tea to the volunteers. People at bus stops joined in. Passersby asked what was happening, then joined the chain themselves.
"We had elderly people, children, and everybody in between," Brown said.
When the great bookchain began, she was in the stockroom. "I was handing books to people without actually seeing the entire of it. So it was only after about 20 minutes I actually go out into the road and saw the extent of the people," she said.
October Books, founded in 1977, calls itself "more than a bookshop." It sells political and current affairs books, fiction and children's books, and and some food and fair-trade products.
But as it struggled to pay rising rents, it had launched a campaign over the summer to raise $400,000 to buy a space of its own: an old bank building. And raise it they did, through donations, crowdfunding, and people who donated money as "loanstock" — the shop will repay them the money that they've lent after one, five, or 10 years depending the loan terms.
"There's been people who've been visiting us and buying books from us for 40 years" as the store has moved around the city numerous times, Brown said. "So a lot of people feel quite invested in it as a thing."
 And in just one hour on Sunday, the community passed more than 2,000 books, hand to hand, to the new shop.
"It was really sort of surprising and positive, and just a really moving experience to see people chipping in because they wanted to help. And they wanted to be part of something bigger," Brown said.
Meanwhile, the bookshop's new location is being painted and built out. And Brown says she currently is surrounded by boxes and bits of broken-up furniture.

There's a lot to get ready for the shop's next chapter. The new, permanent location of October Books has its grand opening on Saturday.

Antarctica scientist stabbed colleague for spoiling book endings

By Natalie O'Neill

In the first attempted murder ever on the frozen continent of Antarctica, a Russian scientist reportedly snapped and allegedly tried to stab a colleague to death because the victim kept giving away the endings of books.
Sergey Savitsky had been trying to use literature to pass the lonesome months at Bellingshausen Station on King George Island, but his colleague Oleg Beloguzov was making it impossible to enjoy his hobby.
“[He] kept telling [him] the endings of books before he read them,” The Sun reported, citing an unnamed source.
So on Oct. 9, the 55-year-old Savitsky finally had enough and allegedly plunged a kitchen knife into the chest of his 52-year-old tormenter. Part of Beloguzov’s heart was wounded, Russian authorities said.
Beloguzov, a welder, was flown to the nearest hospital, in Chile, where he is expected to survive.
The men previously had spent four frigid years working together at the facility. Officials said that while the reading dispute was the final straw, the close confinement in the camp on remote Antarctica played a role in fueling the attack.
“They are both professional scientists who have been working in our expeditions, spending year-long seasons at the station,” deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Alexander Klepikov told the Russian news outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda.
“It is down to investigators to figure out what sparked the conflict, but both men are members of our team,” he said.
Savitsky was deported to St. Petersburg, Russia, and charged with attempted murder on Oct. 22, according to Pravda.
Savitsky admitted to the stabbing but claimed he didn’t mean to kill him, the Russian news outlet Nevskie Novosti reported, citing law-enforcement sources.
The station, which was set up by the Soviets in 1968, is located in one of Antarctica’s few mild regions — where winter temperatures hover around a balmy 15 degrees.
Workers can spend time flipping between two Russian TV channels, exercising at a gym — or reading in the research library.