Booksellers in Scotland’s National Booktown are turning a new page as they celebrate the annual Independent Bookshop Week which runs until the 25th of June.
Wigtown’s main square has seen several changes in recent weeks with more on the way. Traders in the town welcomed the opening of the first new bookshop in three years with New Chapter Books opening their doors on South Main Street. Local couple Gary and Louise Martin are behind the new venture, drawing on their experience of vintage and second hand books along with a specialist knowledge of local and family history.
Over on the High Street, the Wigtown Emporium has recently changed hands with Sara and John Baker taking retirement and handing over to Andy and Jacqui Bolam who have come to Wigtown from New Zealand. Originally from Durham the couple have quickly taken over the reins of the established business selling vintage and collectable items including books, art, and retro.
Whilst two of the bookshop café’s, Reading Lasses and Beltie Books are now on the market as the owners are wishing to retire, many of the town’s bookshops continue to build on their years of experience. Joyce and Ian Cochrane at Old Bank Books have introduced themed curated tables of new books whilst Shaun Bythell is currently working on final edits of his forthcoming book – the third in the Diary of a Bookseller series – which will be launched in November. Well Read Books and Foggie Toddle Books have consolidated their presence in the town focussing on crime writing and childrens’ books respectively.
Independent Bookshop Week is held every year to support the retailers and highlight the importance of bookselling to maintain a strong diversity of businesses in the high street. Being given status as Scotland’s National Book Town helped to transform the fortunes of Wigtown and the importance of the bookshops continues to help the town flourish.