The Ayrshire bookstore owner offers to bring the community together with the festival

An independent Ayrshire bookstore owner has brought the community together after the pandemic.

Sarah Frame, who runs The Book Nook in Stewarton, hosted a mini-festival in the city this week.

A number of writers have been in town as events for adults and children have been held throughout the week.

Sarah told the Kilmarnock Standard: “I’ve run a couple of writers’ events before they’ve been successful.

“It’s independent bookstore week this week, so I kind of thought I should do something.

“I went out to some writers and got such a good response that it grew to run 11 events during the week.

“Four of them are for children, so it’s ideal.

“The exciting thing about it is that Village Balti House has rooms next door that are currently vacant, so they let me use the place for free.



Sarah Frame from Book Nook Stewarton
Sarah Frame from Book Nook Stewarton

“Without them, it would not have been possible since I could not afford a meeting place for a week and my shop is tiny!

“A crowd of my book club members helped get the place tidy and ready, John Knox Church helped me with tables and chairs and Stewarton Arms helped me with service, then Mill House sponsored refreshments.

“It’s a really good joint event, it’s a free event, so it really helps with the cost of living crisis.

“Wednesday night we had Douglas Skelton, who is helping to win the McIlvanney Award, and Morgan Cry.”

Sarah opened her store in December 2020 – and only shopped for eight days before the lockdown closed its doors.

She added: “It was awful, I knew we would be closed in January, but I did not know it would be for four months.

“I was doing a little bit online, but I did not want an online book service.

“I wanted it to be personal, to talk to people, that’s what it’s all about.

“I have a good base of regular customers, it’s just a matter of growing it.”

The Book Nook was nominated for the British Book Awards Independent Bookshop of the Year, and also shortlisted for the top 20 in the British family business.

The festival runs until Saturday 25 June and more information can be found here



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