Owners Dan and Leanne Fridd.
A small book store is a wonderful place—that’s what Russell Crowe thought when he surprised Bookbugs and Dragon Tales Book Shop with a large donation to help its survival.
Leanne Fridd and her husband Dan “squealed” when after launching a Crowdfunder campaign to do more school literacy outreach and give the business “breathing room,” they saw a large donation from Russel Ira Crowe.
“It’s bonkers,” they said of the surprise, that had them chanting “Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe,” nearly the entirety of the following day.
Even back in 1998 when You’ve Got Mail came out, society was aware that the small neighborhood book store was at risk of disappearing in the face of big corporate booksellers.
In a remarkably bad bit of luck, Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Norfolk opened its doors in 2019. Having had to face up to COVID, and now the British cost-of-living crisis, most people would probably guess what happens next, but Leanne and Dan have said that donations have flooded in from unlikely places, star of The Gladiator not withstanding.
“We’ve had £100 from the customer who lost her house in a fire,” said Leanne. “I know she can’t afford that.”
They’re also quite sure that it wasn’t a generous prankster masquerading as Crowe through the anonymity of the internet, since they know that a mutual friend of theirs and Crowe’s retweeted their Crowdfunding link.
“I have heard that this is what he is like – he is really supportive and just wants to make a difference,” Leanne told the BBC. “I doubt he will come into the shop, but who knows, if he is in the area in the future, he might.”
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