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Mystery benefactor buys £100 of Waterstones vouchers to give shoppers a free book

The i 14/06/2021 Jasmine Andersson

A mystery Waterstones customer decided to add another £100 to his bill to pay for ten books for struggling bookworms in a random act of kindness.

The man bought several books for himself in a branch in Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees on Sunday before donating the money to be shared across 10 gift vouchers.

Waterstones workers Suzi Hunton told BBC Radio Tees the mystery shopper didn’t pass on his name, all she knows is he works in the offshore oil industry.

Thee man had been delayed in the area for longer than planned because of an issue with a flight, which “he felt was a little sign he should do something positive for his local area”.

“He was just paying it forward to make sure other people got the treat of a book, got something to make them smile and feel happy especially at such a challenging time,” Ms Hunton said.

“It’s one of the most lovely things I’ve had happen at the shop,” she added.

The books were split across grandparents meeting their grandchildren for the first time due the coronavirus, teens who frequently visited the shop, or forlorn customers who looked like they needed a pick-me-up.

Sharing the news on Twitter, the store’s post was liked thousands of times and retweeted by more than 500 people.

The store tweeted: “We’ve had the *best* time handing them out to book-lovers.

“So, mystery benefactor, if you’re reading this your kindness brought joy to lots of people, including our little team here at Waterstones Yarm who got to pass on your gifts.”

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