In late January, Seth Marko found out he was going to need open heart surgery. This means he had to put his business, The Book Catapult, on pause. Jennifer Powell, his wife, made sure their daughter, 3, was in good hands.
His bookstore would have to close down while Marko was in surgery and also during his recovery.
But without hesitation, a competing bookstore owner, Scott Ehrig-Burgess, decided to help.
Speaking to the Washington Post, he said: “I thought, ‘I’ll pretend this is my store for the week,’”
According to an Instagram post, the fledgling store recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.
“Some days the light was just write and made for perfect pictures of the books, all snuggled up on their tables and shelves just waiting for someone to take them home. Tomorrow we celebrate one year of matching great reads with even better people. Come say hello, have some cake, and let’s toast to year two!”
The shop has already quite a fan club. When Ehrig-Burgess reached out to other people in the local San Diego area, they immediately offered help.
“People were like, ‘What can I do to help? Do you need somebody to be in the store?’” Ehrig-Burgess said. “I called four booksellers and had four volunteers.”
Fellow booksellers and volunteers lent helping hands.
Julie Slavinsky, a competing bookstore employee who helped at The book Catapult, told the Washington Post: “People don’t like to ask for help. You have to say, ‘Hey, I have a few hours, do you need me?’”
Powell was overwhelmed to see so many people who want to offer help. She told ABC 10 News: “Everybody kinda jumped into action immediately which is really wonderful because then we were literally only closed for a day.
“It’s not really hard to believe that this happened but it’s still heartwarming to see that it did come into place.”
Those who kept the shop open didn’t see it as ‘working for the competitor.’
Slavinsky told the Washington Post: “The book world is a little bit different. I see this as helping somebody in the community. It’s the community coming together.”
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