Entertaining “Local Hero-ish” (1983) fantasies of escaping from the rat race to live the simple life in a quaint Scottish village? Ever dreamt of running your own bookshop? The Guardian reports that you can try out your fantasies during vacation this year for a mere Â£150 a week.
[A]ll those who … who yearn to spend their days amongst the pristine spines and glossy covers of a small bookshop, what might be the perfect holiday retreat has just been listed on AirBnB: the opportunity to become a bookseller for a week or two.
For the sum of Â£150 a week, guests at The Open Book in Wigtown, Scotlandâ€™s national book town, will be expected to sell books for 40 hours a week while living in the flat above the shop. Given training in bookselling from Wigtownâ€™s community of booksellers, they will also have the opportunity to put their â€œown stampâ€ on the store while theyâ€™re there. â€œThe bookshop residencyâ€™s aim is to celebrate bookshops, encourage education in running independent bookshops and welcome people around the world to Scotlandâ€™s national book town,â€ says the AirBnB listing.
The Open Book is leased by the Wigtown book festival from a local family. Organisers have been letting paying volunteers run the shop for a week or two at a time since the start of the year, but opened the experience up to the world at large this week when they launched what they are calling â€œthe first ever bookshop holiday experienceâ€ on AirBnB.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t call it a working holiday,â€ said Adrian Turpin, director of the Wigtown book festival. â€œItâ€™s a particular kind of holiday [for people] who donâ€™t feel that running a bookshop is work. Itâ€™s not about cheap labour â€“ itâ€™s about offering people an experience â€¦ Itâ€™s one of those great fantasies.â€
The money is â€œjust essentially to cover our costsâ€, said Turpin, admitting that â€œit can be a hard life, selling books in a small town, so itâ€™s not a holiday for everybodyâ€.