Exclusive Books grants grandmother’s birthday wish – to lock her up (in style!) in a bookshop for the night
South Africa’s leading bookseller has rung in the new year on a particularly joyful note by fulfilling the life-long 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.
Greyling turned 60 on Sunday 7 January and saw her wish granted at Exclusive Books’ 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 Benjamin Trisk, CEO of Exclusive Books. “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 Greyling’s daughter, Leeanne Jonsson, via email in early December 2017. The email asked for the booksellers’ help in “planning an epic birthday surprise”.
“My mom is turning 60 on the 7th Jan 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 was in keeping with the overall spirit of our brand.”.
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 book shop – 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 R2000 voucher toward a sleep consultation and a special Tempur therapeutic pillow.
The birthday grandmother also received a R1000 Exclusive Books voucher to spend on her favourite reads.