It's the perfect holiday for literature lovers - running a bookshop in Scotland.

Guests pay £150 to work a 40-hour week at The Open Book store, while staying in the flat above the shop in Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway.

The unusual holiday retreat has just been listed on lodging website AirBnB.

Holidaymakers will be given training in bookselling from local book experts. They will also have the opportunity to put their 'own stamp' on the store while they're there.

'Live your dream of having your very own bookshop by the sea in Scotland for a week or two,' says the online listing. The Open Book is leased by the Wigtown book festival from a local family.

'I wouldn't call it a working holiday,' said festival director Adrian Turpin. 'It's a particular kind of holiday for people who don't feel that running a bookshop is work.

'It's not about cheap labour - it's about offering people an experience.'

The money will just about cover costs, he said, adding: 'It can be a hard life, selling books in a small town, so it's not a holiday for everybody.

'Wigtown is Scotland's national book town, but it's quite a long way from anywhere. So part of the idea was to get new people in - people who would hopefully end up having a long-standing relationship with the town.'

The Open Book has been leased about 10 times so far by guests including a librarian from Portland, Oregon, in the US, a Dutch civil servant and a couple in their 80s who had always wanted to run a bookshop.

Ben Please and Beth Porter from The Bookshop Band, which writes and performs songs inspired by books, ran the store in January.

They have been asked to return next month to take it on during the festival, from September 25 to October 4.


The book store has the following description on AirBnB:

The first ever bookshop holiday / residency experience, Scotland's National Book Town welcomes you to play bookshop for a week or two. 

We'll give you your very own bookshop, and apartment above, supported by a team of friendly volunteers and bookshop sellers to make your trip as lovely as possible. 

Set up by The Wigtown Festival Company, the bookshop residency's aim is to celebrate bookshops, encourage education in running independent bookshops and welcome people around the world to Scotland's National Book Town. 

The fee for your stay is low because we are a non-profit. It covers the running costs of the holiday but that is all. A laptop and WiFi are provided, plus bicycles for those who like to explore the bucolic countryside on two wheels! 

House Rules

During the period of your bookshop holiday, we encourage you to blog regularly about the experience. All the residents have in the past and we'd like to continue the tradition! A blog has been set up to which you will be given access for the period of your residency. The blog will be monitored by the project manager.

Residents will be expected to carry out all the normal duties of a bookseller including:

  • Opening/closing the shop during normal working hours.
  • Welcoming visitors
  • Selling books (stating the obvious)
  • Staffing, stocking, creating awesome window displays and basically putting your own stamp on the shop. It's part of the fun. In the past we've had people create works of art, music, host readings - we love it.
  • Keeping the shop clean, tidy and safe for visitors
  • Residents are not permitted to purchase books or any other stocks or items for The Open Book or flat without agreement in writing from Wigtown Festival Company.
  • No smoking (please) in the shop or the apartment.
  • The accommodation sleeps a maximum of two people. 


Holidaymakers will be given training in bookselling from local book experts
Guests will stay in the one-bedroom flat above the shop which sleeps two and has a kitchen and bathroom

Guests will stay in the one-bedroom flat above the shop which sleeps two and has a kitchen and bathroom

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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