A couple of weekends ago we made our regular trip to visit family in a lovely little village called Lilliesleaf in Melrose, Scotland.
We were heading home on the Monday and on Sunday evening plans were made to have lunch at a lovely pub in St Boswell’s before our trip home.
‘The bookshop is there at St Boswell’s too, we can have a look in there before you go’ words to make my ears prick up!
Bookshop you say? Hell yes, I’m in!
I put a little excited tweet out on Sunday evening before bed, exclaiming to the bookish Twitterverse that I was planning a bookshop visit and a few people oooh’d and ahhhh’d and extolled the virtues of Main Street Trading. I went to sleep a little bit giddy I don’t mind telling ya!
Monday morning rolls around and I awake to the tweet of doom……
And I was indeed ‘gutted’.
The lovely Ros at Main Street Trading sent me a DM saying she happened to be around for a short window of time and would I like a quick tour around the shop?….
Erm………YES PLEASE! So lovely of Ros to offer!
I was quickly back in excitement mode.
So we bobbed along at the agreed time and Ros let us in, all clandestine like!
It became quickly apparent that this shop was my Nirvana!
It was set up beautifully and was much bigger than I had anticipated after a quick Google search and a sneaky look at pictures of the interior.
There is an absolute chock-a-block Fiction section which stocks all the bang up to date books. Hardbacks which have literally just been published in the few days prior to my visit, books I’d struggled to get my hands on in my local Waterstones.
All the books are displayed perfectly in the large airy space. Gorgeous attention to detail. The way books are displayed can make or break a bookshopping experience for me but ask soon as I entered the fiction section I had already spotted the books I wanted.
There are of course a wealth of non-fiction books too but I was focussed on a fiction mission!
The children’s section is also stunning, crammed with so many beautiful children’s and teen books. My daughter is 10 and an avid reader. Unfortunately she wasn’t with me for the brief visit but I promised her I’d choose a book for her. And choose I did, with the help of Ros who recommended The Skylarks War by Hilary McKay. (My daughter has since read and adored it).
My daughter could spend many hours (and pounds!) here and we will absolutely be bringing her back next time we visit.
The absolute icing on the cake for children though has to be the Book Burrow’s. Two little nooks where children can go and listen to audiobooks in peace. Complete with borrowers under the floor! Too cute! And such a fabulous idea!
Ros also showed me a building separate from the main shop which sells mainly ‘cheese and booze’ in Ros’s words (and who doesn’t love cheese and booze I ask ya?!), and beautiful homeware pieces. I could’ve browsed for hours!
The shop also hosts regular author events and proudly displays pictures of the various authors who have visited on their display board. I believe Jess Kidd is there at the start of May and I’m kicking myself that I can’t go!
There is also a lovely looking cafe area (which I didn’t photograph as obviously it was closed and chairs were up on tables) but trust me it’s a lovely area with a delicious looking menu that I’m very eager to try.
I obviously made a few purchases because…….well…YOU KNOW ME! And had a lovely chat with Ros who told me she used to work in publishing herself. We discussed the shops latest book club choices and generally I had a rather lovely time (and luckily a rather generous husband!).
I was given my books in a Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tote bag, and lets face it, who doesn’t love a good tote?!
So what did you buy?!?! I hear you ask.
You all know by now how much I ADORED Things In Jars by Jess Kidd (Canongate), and if you don’t, firstly where have you been these last few months?!? And secondly you can read my review here. I had obviously read a proof copy but needed a finished copy for my Forever Shelf…..and here she is! Ain’t she a beauty!
I also picked up a short story collection by Jamie Quattro called I Want To Show You More (Picador). I have read Fire Sermon by the same author and wasn’t entirely sure I liked it in terms of the story. I enjoyed the authors writing style though so I thought I’d give them another go (and we all know I love a short story collection).
I picked up this copy of Nina Stibbe’s Reasons To Be Cheerful (Viking) because for one, I’ve been seeing it all over social media and two, I love her sense of humour! I read and loved Love, Nina last year and knew I had to give this one a go.
The final book was a ‘just because’ choice, Love After Love by Alex Hourston (Faber). I’ve not heard of the author or the book but I was drawn to the cover and the blurb hooked me in too. Have any of you read it?
All in all I was blown away by this shop and will definitely be back (when it’s open of course!) very very soon. To be honest I can’t really fathom why I’d not visited sooner! It’s a real treat of a shop and I would urge anyone in the area to pay it a visit. You won’t regret it.
Huge huge thanks to the lovely Ros for taking the time out of her day to show me around. I was like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop. Loved it!
The website for the shop, detailing opening hours and the shops interesting history plus news of upcoming events etc is here. Go check it out!
See you all soon.
Amanda – Bookish Chat.