When Paul Morris, owner of Bookends bookshop in Cardigan, decided that he wanted to retire, he made the unusual move of raffling his bookshop off instead of putting it up for sale (it was worth an estimated £30,000 if he was to have sold it). Any customer who spent more than £20 in the shop over the past three months was eligible to be entered into the raffle to win the bookshop.
Overall sixty names were put into the raffle hat, and the winner was announced as Ceisjan van Heerden from the Netherlands. He says he will be taking over at the bookshop on November the 5th, alongside his friend from Iceland who is now moving to west Wales. Although, as if this story was remarkable enough, the pair have never actually met – but they have been friends online for nine years.
It might sound strange, but we are sure we can make it work. It is just an amazing opportunity
Mr Morris explained his decision to raffle the bookshop rather than sell it, and at the Jane Austen News we thought it was a charming reason, and we hope that Mr Morris has a fantastic retirement and that Bookends continues to thrive under its new management!
I thought about selling it, but I thought instead, let’s give someone an opportunity in life which they might not otherwise have had. The principle was to make sure the shop continues in good hands. I always wanted to have a bookshop, but I’ve had my stint, and now it’s time for someone else to take over.