Exclusive Books at Hyde Park Corner grants 60-year-old woman’s birthday wish

Carina Greyling and her daughter Leeanne Jonsson spent the night together in a pop-up bedroom at the Exclusive Books in Hyde Park Corner. Photo: Laura Pisanello

Sixty-year-old Carina Greyling was treated to the surprise of a lifetime at Exclusive Books, Hyde Park Corner.

Greyling, who celebrated her birthday on 7 January, had a unique request to spend an evening locked inside a bookstore to celebrate her birthday. Much to her surprise, her four daughters with the help of staff from Exclusive Books arranged a pop-up bedroom with coffee and snacks and the luxury of browsing through the bookstore all night long.

Leeanne Jonsson, one of Greyling’s daughters had emailed Exclusive Books with the unusual request and was contacted by Benjamin Trisk, the CEO of Exclusive Books, saying that he would be happy to grant her birthday wish.

“My mom has said on more than one occasion that the only thing she wants for her birthday is to be locked in an Exclusive Books for the night, which we thought was a bit insane but everything else we tried to think of just didn’t come right,” said Jonsson. “So I sent an email and 20 minutes later Benjamin Trisk had emailed me.”

Carina Greyling was surprised by her family with a pop-up bedroom at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park Corner. Photo: Laura Pisanello

Trisk said, “How could we resist obliging Mrs Greyling’s birthday wish, especially given that she and I share the same birth date? We supplied all the creature comforts necessary for spending a night in a bookshop, and trust that her stay was everything she hoped for.”

Greyling was taken to the bookstore under the guise of buying a book but was completely shocked to see the bedroom that had been set up for her. “I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight; I just want to look at all the books.

“I’ve always said that when it’s my time to go I hope heaven has a bookshop and I think it might look a bit like this,” said Greyling.

Carina Greyling was granted her birthday wish to spend an evening in an Exclusive Books store. Photo: Laura Pisanello

Exclusive Books has helped with many surprises over the years, including proposals, however, a pop-up bedroom was a new challenge. To top-up her birthday surprise Greyling was also given a R2 000 Vencasa voucher, who sponsored her bed for the evening, as well as a R1 000 Exclusive Books voucher to spend on her favourite books.

Greyling added that she would spend the evening going through books by her favourite authors including Jodi Picoult and James Patterson.

Share your thoughts on Greyling’s birthday surprise on the Rosebank Killarney Gazette Facebook page.

Laura Pisanello

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