Exclusive Books helped fulfil a lifelong dream of one of the retailer’s most loyal customers by locking her inside the Hyde Park store overnight!

“We’ve rung in 2018 on a particularly joyful note by fulfilling the lifelong dream of Mrs Carina Greyling of Kempton Park, Johannesburg, who had, according to her four children, listed being ‘locked inside an Exclusive Books for the night’ as her top birthday wish,” the retailer said.

Greying turned 60 on Sunday 7 January and had her wish granted at the Hyde Park store, where she was surprised with a pop-up bedroom, snacks and drinks, and the freedom to roam the store all night, browsing and reading to her heart’s content.

“How could we resist obliging Mrs Greyling’s birthday wish, especially given that she and I share the same birth date?” said CEO, Benjamin Trisk. “We supplied all the creature comforts necessary for spending a night in a bookshop, and trust that her stay was everything she hoped for.”

Trisk received the request from Mrs Greyling’s daughter, Leeanne Jonsson, via email in early December 2017

The email asked for the booksellers’ help in “planning an epic birthday surprise”.

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“My mom is turning 60 on 7 January 2018. When we asked her what she wants for her EPIC birthday – she said that she just wants to be locked in an Exclusive Books for the evening, with a flask of coffee, a blanket and unlimited access to read as many books as possible,” Jonsson wrote. “Probably the weirdest birthday wish ever – but that’s what makes her unique!”

“Exclusive Books is known for pulling stunts like this on occasion for special customers,” said Trisk. “We’ve assisted with a number of in-store marriage proposals, for instance, and feel that accommodating Mrs Greyling – literally – was very much in keeping with the overall spirit of our brand”.

(Image source: blog.exclusivebooks.co.za)

Mrs Greyling was escorted to the Exclusive Books store by her children at 9pm, unaware of the surprise that lay in wait

She was delighted by the final twist that her birthday celebration had taken.

“I’ve always said that when it’s my time to go I hope heaven has a bookshop – and I think it might look a bit like this,” said Mrs Greyling.

Her bed and pillows were supplied by Exclusive Books’ fellow Hyde Park tenant, Vencasa, which also included a R2 000 voucher toward a sleep consultation and a special Tempur therapeutic pillow. The birthday grandmother also received a R1 000 Exclusive Books voucher to spend on her favourite reads.

The next morning, Mrs Greyling texted the retailer: “I absolutely loved it – it was the shortest night of my life!”