back to top

A Guy Found A Homeless Man Reading The Same Book Over And Over For Months So He Gave Him His Kindle

BuzzFeed News talked to the man behind the viral picture, and the backstory is amazing.

Posted on

This is Paul, with his new Kindle.

imgur.com

A few days ago, an anonymous redditor posted this picture of him, with the caption "I gave this homeless man, Paul, my Kindle after learning that he'd been reading the same book over and over. He hasn't put it down for days". The picture swiftly went viral, so BuzzFeed News reached out to the redditor to find out a little more.

He wouldn't let us reveal his name, but said:

I'm 31 and I work as a reverse engineer for a company who makes IT security appliances. As far as hobbies go, I love to travel and do it quite regularly for work and whenever I can for fun. I also like to climb, run, cycle, ride my motorcycle, go hiking/backpacking/wilderness camping, and I have an unhealthy obsession with board games.

Now. Here's a thing you probably don't know about this picture.

The photo was actually taken a couple of days after I gave him the Kindle – I didn't originally intend to share this with anyone but after seeing him repeatedly and getting so much joy from it, I just had to. I gave it to him knowing that he might sell it, which I wouldn't have blamed him for – people have to eat. Seeing him for a few days after that while I was still in Las Vegas, it brought me so much joy to see him completely absorbed in it.

He wouldn't even look up when I or anyone else walked by unless I got his attention. It made me tear up after the first time I saw him using it the next day after giving it to him – I was so happy to see someone get so much out of something I really took for granted. I'm really hoping that by sharing this, I'll inspire other people to do something nice for someone in need.

We asked him a little more about Paul. He said:

I don't know how he ended up homeless, I didn't ask. I mostly just talked to him about reading and how to operate the Kindle. As far as people doing anything for him, I don't have his contact information. He has a lot of people who miss him back home, but I'm going to keep the information about where he's from to myself so he can maintain some privacy. They have reached out to me and there are a large number of people who miss him. The good news is, he'll be back home in the summertime so they don't have to worry much any more. I've gotten the word back to them on that as well.

A lot of people have asked how Paul's going to charge the thing. The redditor said:

I gave him a charger and there were about 300 books on there to begin with. I gave him a rundown of my favourite books on the device in a letter on the last day I saw him. He does have a place where he can charge it, which he won't need to do often as the Kindle's battery can last for a month or more. He was really excited about reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin – the series Game Of Thrones is based on. He had read the second book in the series already, but not the first or any of the others. I had all of those books up to the most current on the Kindle.

And here's the best bit. The anonymous donor told BuzzFeed News:

I gave him a P.O. Box where he can send any letters and so that he can send the Kindle when he's finished reading everything on there so I can load it up with some more books. I also gave him a few postage stamps so that he can write me and tell me about how he's liking the books. When he does send it, I'll be setting up an Amazon account for him with the Kindle Unlimited subscription so that he can have an unlimited supply of reading material.

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.