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Independent Bookshop of the Month - August 2018

Posted on August 01, 2018 by Sophie O'Neill

We’re glad to announce that the selection for Inpress’ August Independent Bookshop of the Month is Mainstreet Trading Company! This gem of a shop is located near the Scottish Border up in St. Boswells. Its shelves are stacked high with a wide range of different genres from fiction classics to cookery books! You might have heard of Mainstreet Trading before as the shop has won a handful of awards including The Independent Bookshop of the Year in The Bookseller Industry Awards 2012. 

The shop began in 2008 under the watchful eye of Rosamund who has worked in the book industry for a large portion of her life. We had a chat with her to find out more... 

  •  How did the shop begin? 

 We started from scratch in 2008, just as the recession really hit the high street.  We are based in a village so always needed to create the shop as a destination so, from the beginning, we were a bookshop/café, we also sold some gifts and hosted an antiques concession to add more reasons for customers to visit. In 2012 we launched our Deli and Home shop in the adjacent barn. 

  • Do you have any exciting plans for the future? 

We’re always thinking of the next thing, but having just renovated the café and bookshop and redesigned our website in 2017, we’re having a brief pause while we consolidate!

  • If you weren’t running a bookshop, what would you be doing?

  I’d probably go back into publishing (my previous life was as children’s marketing director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books). 

  • What are the staff currently reading? 

Mend the Living, Normal People & Honey and Co @ Home.

(Pictured: Scout and Alice aka. Vivian and Rosamund)

  • If you could meet any author or poet, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

 Nominated by Vivian (assistant manager) – Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath – for balance.  The former to ask if he really did destroy some of her work and why, but also because he’d be fascinating; the latter for her genius/borderline insanity.

Mainstreet Trading Company has many lovely features. One lovely quirk is their Book Borrows. The audio listening dens are designed to look like Mrs Rabbit’s kitchen, complete with The Borrowers below the floorboards. They were designed by Phillippa who works her creative magic on the shop.

Another thing we really like about Mainstreet is their attempts to engage children in literature! Their Mainstreet Van takes literature on the road: they partner each term with a children’s publisher to take their authors into local schools. Mainstreet's website proudly announces "Our ambition is to ensure that every child in the Scottish Borders meets an author through the Mainstreet Van during their school career.". What lucky children!

You can find Rosamund and the team in person at Mainstreet Trading Company, Mainstreet, St Boswells, Scottish Borders TD6 0AT. Mainstreet can also be contacted via email at info@mainstreetbooks.co.uk.

We hope you enjoyed learning about this wonderful independent bookshop as much as we did. Happy Reading!

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