The tale began in a bookshop in Hampshire which - on Tuesday - went a whole day without selling a single book.

John Westwood owns the shop. And his staff - worried about poor sales - wrote a desperate tweet about it, saying: "Tumbleweed... Not a single book sold today... Takings. Zero... We think this may be the first time ever".

Within hours, the fantasy author Neil Gaiman had retweeted it to 2.8 million followers. A thousand pounds in orders came in overnight.

Mr Westwood told ITV News: "We've never not made a penny in 60 years.

"We've been near the end for quite a few years and we've struggled from month to month.

"We had someone ring up from Inverness saying 'I want to spend £10, but I don't care what you send me'. We had someone from California saying 'I want to donate $50'.

"How do you explain that, if that's not a passion? What other commodity would spur people to do something like that?"

Fantasy author Neil Gaiman shared the tweet to his 2.8 million followers. Credit: PA

The idea of a struggling, yet beautiful bookstore closing has bothered thousands.

This store has been trading for more than 100 years selling new, second-hand and antiquarian books.

The concept and notion of Twitter would have been unimaginable when many of these books were written.

But it's power in the last two days has taken this bookshop from 1,200 followers to 12,000... And sales have gone up 100 fold!

The kindness of strangers who share a love of the bookshop made for a very, happy ending.