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A sci-fi fan from the Netherlands won an entire bookstore in Wales

INSIDER logoINSIDER 9/12/2018 Kelly McLaughlin
a close up of a book shelf © Bookends/Facebook

  • Bookends bookstore owner Paul Morris could have sold the shop for £30,000 ($39,000), but decided instead to raffle it off to someone who dreamed of running the store.
  • Science-fiction fan Ceisjan Van Heerden, 30, will take over Bookends in Cardigan, Wales, on November 5.
  • Over the last three months, anyone who spent more than £20 ($26) at the bookstore was eligible to enter the raffle to win ownership of the bookstore, which opened four years ago.

A man from the Netherlands won an entire independent bookstore in Wales after its owner raffled the shop off when he decided it was time to retire.

Science-fiction fan Ceisjan Van Heerden, 30, will take over Bookends in Cardigan, Wales, on November 5.

Bookends owner Paul Morris could have sold the shop for £30,000 ($39,000), according to The Guardian, but decided instead to raffle it off to someone who dreamed of running the store.

Over the last three months, anyone who spent more than £20 ($26) at the bookstore was eligible to enter the raffle to win ownership of the shop, which opened four years ago.

Van Heerden was one of 60 entries in the raffle, and his name was chosen at a ceremony last week.

Morris, 52, decided it was time to hand over ownership when he realized it was time to to take an early retirement because of worsened osteoarthritis.

"I thought about selling it, but I thought instead, let's give someone an opportunity in life which they might not otherwise have had," he told The Guardian. "The principle was to make sure the shop continues in good hands.

"[Ceisjan] is a regular customer and I'm really pleased it was him - he wants to run it. You can make a very good living from it - far too many bookshops have disappeared over the years."

Van Heerden is a regular at the shop, and while he is from the Netherlands, he now lives in Lammas, Wales, he told the TivySide Advertiser.

He plans to run the shop with a friend from Iceland, who is now moving to Wales.

Van Heerden and his friend from Iceland met on the internet nine years ago but have yet to meet face to face.

"It might sound strange, but we are sure we can make it work. It is just an amazing opportunity," he said.

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