The next shop in the monthly Browse a Bookshop feature is Ullapool Bookshop in Ullapool, all the way up in Ross and Cromarty (that’s the Highlands of Scotland for the uninitiated). Beautiful countryside and books, what more could a person need?
Open all year round 7 days a week, in the summer we open 9am-9pm 6 days a week and 10am-5pm on Sundays
In their own words…
How did you come up with the name of your bookshop?
Name of the place we live in!
Who are you? Owns the bookshop?
Bookshop is owned by Mr William Thomson and Mrs Katrina Thomson, local family. Managed by Katharine Douglas for the past 2 years, along with 4 part time members of staff. We are open 7 days a week and from 9am-9pm May-September Monday – Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sundays.
General background/history of the shop please
Opened in 2003 in this location opposite ferry terminal to Lewis (Outer Hebrides)
Do you stock a variety of genres or do you specialise?
All genres stocked, specialties include: Scottish History, Scottish General and Scottish Highlands and Islands. We also have a large children’s area, maps, guides and a great greeting card area too.
Do you mainly sell new or second-hand books?
All new books.
What makes your bookshop special?
Open all year round 7 days a week, in the summer we open 9am-9pm 6 days a week and 10am-5pm on Sundays.
What’s the most surprising thing about being a bookseller?
No time to read books!
What is your preferred reading genre?
Fiction, biography, travel writing
Describe your store in three words.
Bright / Colourful / Interesting
What was your favourite childhood book? Why?
Little House on the Prairie by laura Ingells Wilder. Her journey captured my imagination and I loved to hear about the tales on the prairies. Great book to read aloud with kids too.
If you could invite any author for a book signing at your shop, who would you choose?
Only one author? Too hard a question by far! ….Peter May? Ian Rankin (he has been in already) or Katharine Stewart (which would be difficult
as she passed way but I would have loved to meet her in person and ask her about life as a crofter near Loch Ness.
Where do you think the biggest change in book publishing will come from?
If Supermarkets didn’t sell books at 1/2 price, that would help us all.
How do you choose the books you stock?
I know my customers and listen to them / read magazines and newspapers / read magazines from our distributors /
Name three books on your TBR
Ice Breaker by Horatio Clare / Close Call by Quintin Jardine and Travelling Light by Alastair Sawday
What are you reading at the moment?
Michael Dibdin: an Inspector Zen mystery and A Farmer’s Diary by Sally Unwin
What music, if any, do you play in your shop? Why?
No music, no facilities to play music
What is the best book-related gift you’ve ever received?
Christmas tree decoration in the shape of a pile of books.
What is the weirdest thing a customer has ever asked for?
Umm……too long a list to mention: bait? / a book on Scotland which was blue (you know the one right?!) /
What do you get up to in a normal bookselling day?
Rearranging books / ordering books / talking about books / promoting books
What is the nicest thing a customer has ever said to you?
That they like the smell of the bookshop (in a good way).