JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An independently owned, local bookstore has a special request this holiday season that only one of Hollywood's biggest stars can fulfill.
Tom Hanks, the 61-year-old actor, producer and director, recently released his first book, "Uncommon Type: Some Stories." The book is comprised of 17 short stories inspired by a collection of vintage typewriters the two-time Oscar winner owns.
San Marco Books and More jumped at the opportunity to purchase a shipment of Hanks' new book when it was released several weeks ago. It's been flying off the shelves ever since, according to co-owner Desiree Bailey.
Just after Thanksgiving, Bailey said she received an e-mail from the publisher regarding 10 autographed copies of Hanks' book. She wasted no time in placing an order for those special editions.
"I sent an e-mail within seconds," Bailey said. "A couple of hours later I got a confirmation and I got really excited."
Bailey waited patiently for the books but they never came. To make matters worse, the 10 signed copies had already been sold to customers in advance.
Since Black Friday, the bookstore has had difficulty receiving UPS packages, according to Bailey. So, earlier this week, she decided to track her order to find out where it was.
"I called Random House and they said, 'That order was canceled. You're not getting the books.'"
Despite her confirmation number, a Random House customer service representative told Bailey they had run out of signed copies and her store would no longer be getting any.
The publisher later told Bailey there were no guarantees on orders for autographed copies. However, the company offered to reach out to Hanks to see if he would be willing to sign more copies.
"I got a little mad and I decided, you know what, I'm going to go straight to the top," said Bailey.
As an avid reader who frequently writes to authors, Bailey decided she was going to personally reach out to Hanks to tell him what had happened.
"This is a little bigger scale, but I thought it was worth a shot in the dark," Bailey said. "So, I wrote the letter and put it in a typewriter font and put it on social media."
She tagged Hanks in the social media posts, hoping that the Hollywood star would see her special request. The posts have started to gain traction over the past 48 hours.
"It's going viral for us," Bailey said. "People are retweeting it, they are commenting. We've had a lot of really nice comments and people have some really fantastic things to say bout the bookstore."
Bailey says the bookstore, which has been located in San Marco for over 40 years, has often been compared to the fictional one in the movie "You've Got Mail," co-staring Hanks and Meg Ryan.
"It's just that little shop around the corner," Bailey said. "That's the funny thing, we've been compared to the store in the movie from Tom Hanks. So, it's a little ironic in a really neat way."
This year, the bookstore is doing something special for the holidays. Wishlist postcards addressed to Santa Claus are handed out to customers. You write down the title of the book you want most for Christmas and enlist an elf that can help facilitate your wish.
Bailey filled out her own wishlist postcard this year and assigned Hanks as her elf. It might be a long shot, but Bailey is hopeful for a Christmas miracle.
"I would love to meet him, I would love to thank him for his book and I would love to get the 10 copies signed so I can get them to my customers."