Graphic logo for the Book Kist 2020.

The Book Kist

25 - 27 September 2020

Thank you for joining us for this digital event through our Explore Wigtown and Wigtown Book Festival Facebook pages.

Many of you would have been exploring Wigtown's bookshops whilst visiting Wigtown Book Festival and we're sad that you aren't here, but have decided to bring the bookshops to you instead.  

Please support our booksellers through these difficult times, to keep Scotland's National Book Town flourishing.

Beltie Books and cafe. Outside and inside view, book covers and cafe staff.

Beltie Books & Café

Opened in 2013, BELTIE BOOKS aims to keep proprietor Andrew Wilson out of mischief. From the front, the B listed building in Wigtown's area of outstanding conservation importance looks almost domestic, and the relaxed home library style of the bookshop itself fits with this appearance. 

Containing a small but eclectic collection of mainly second hand books, Andrew's focus is on Galloway's history and geography, including the "killing times" of the Covenanting era and Wigtown's Martyrs, Scots Gaelic (which was spoken in the region until the 16th century), Scottish literature, and poetry. Behind the bookshop, and opening into the garden nestled amongst charming stone ruins, is the café - for cakes, scones, biscuits, soup and light meals all made on the premises (some from ingredients from the garden) with delightful Marimba hot chocolate, coffee and tea from MacBeans of Aberdeen, and Cream o' Galloway ice cream. The main café area exhibits art too - some from local artists and some from afar. Come, relax, enjoy! 

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday: 10.00am to 4.30pm (but late opening on Tuesdays, at 12.00noon). Closed Sundays. 

Proprietor: Andrew Wilson

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: BELTIE BOOKS & Café
Instagram: BELTIE BOOKS & Café
Telephone: 01988 402730

Address: 6 Bank Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HP

The Book End Studio. Various book covers, the front windows and sign and the proprietor Julie Houston.

The Book End Studio

The Book End Studio has had a Main Street presence in Wigtown for 16 years now.  We are known as "the" shop with everything made from paper or "ah, are you the lady that makes beautiful things our of paper?". 

As well as papercraft we have a small selection of books to the rear of the shop along with general stock.  Local crafts handmade in the locality also fill the front shop where something you might find me painting.

Opening Hours

Opening times may vary.

Proprietor: Julie Houston

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Bookend Studio
Instagram: bookendstudio
Telephone: 01988 402403

Address: 22 North Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HL

The Bookshop, Wigtown's oldest book shop, proprietor Shaun Bythell standing outside, various book and his cat.

The Bookshop

The Bookshop is the oldest of Wigtown’s book businesses and has now been running for over 40 years. During that time it had been open six days every week (except Christmas), but during lockdown it was closed for 116 days. 

It is a sprawling, Georgian town house, once home to Wigtown’s Provost, George McHaffie whose spirit (according to a former employee) still haunts the building. Our stock is diverse and general, with around 100,000 titles spread throughout the ground floor and stairs. We try to have something for everyone, and now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted, we’ve seen customers return in unprecedented numbers, all keen to support the town and its shops. Thank you all.

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday: 9.00am to 5.00pm 

Proprietor: Shaun Bythell

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: The Bookshop
Instagram: The Bookshop
Telephone: 01988 402499

Address: 17 North Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HL

Byre Books, Wigtown. Various books and an inside view.

Byre Books

"Here at Byre Books we specialise in Folklore, Archaeology, and books of Scottish and general interest.  

There is also a small general stock and a children's section.  We are fully wheelchair accessible and have a small, shady, peaceful garden where you can sit and relax.

We're sorry we can't welcome you into the shop at present, but you can find much of our stock listed on Biblio, Antiqbook and ABE.  Or just get in touch directly by email."  

Opening Hours

Currently closed.

Proprietors: Laura and Shani Mustian

Email: [email protected]

Address: 24 South Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9EH

Craigard Gallery, Wigtown. Artist and printmaker Sarah Stewart. Various books, the gallery and items for sale.

Craigard Gallery

Craigard Gallery is a small family run business, established in 2014 in the heart of Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town. Named after the building “Craigard” in which it resides, it is one of the region’s leading contemporary private art galleries.

Managed by printmaker Sarah Stewart, the gallery seeks to promote the works of emerging and established professional artists focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on print, book arts and illustration. Recent book festival exhibitions have included Benji Davies’ The Storm Whale and an exhibition focussing on Mairi Hedderwick’s popular Katie Morag book The Tiresome Ted.

Alongside its exhibition and workshop programmes, the gallery also stocks a carefully curated selection of art books, both new and second hand; art and writing materials; beautifully illustrated children’s books and gifts.

Opening Hours

Open by appointment.   

Proprietor: Sarah Stewart

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Craigard Gallery
Instagram: craigardgallery
Telephone: 07903 044929

Address: 13 North Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HL

Foggie Toddle Books, Wigtown. Proprietor Jayne Baldwin in her children's book shop.

Foggie Toddle Books

Foggie Toddle Books is the children’s bookshop in Wigtown owned and run by author and publisher Jayne Baldwin with her team Louise Martin and Isabelle Caughey. 

The shop sells new, second hand and vintage books for children from birth to young adult. We also stock a range of greetings cards and gifts with a focus on fairtrade and artists and crafters from Dumfries and Galloway. Working with local artist Pauline Paterson Foggie Toddle Books has also produced a range of cards, mugs and prints featuring eight of Wigtown’s wonderful bookshops.

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday: 10.00am to 4.00pm 

Proprietor: Jayne Baldwin

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Foggie Toddle Books
Instagram: foggietoddlebooks
Telephone: 01988 402896

Address: 18 North Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HL

Number 11 The Wigtown Festival Company Bookshop. Inside and outside views, a volunteer standing in front of bookshelves of books.

Number 11

Number 11 opened in early 2017 following the move of Wigtown Festival Company to new premises within the town. The shop was established to assist with the running costs of the Company behind the annual Wigtown Book Festival with every purchase made at the shop supporting their charitable work.  

The retail space has a predominantly literary stock with an extensive range of new books, including titles by authors from this year’s Book Festival.  A selection of literary gifts will appeal to those looking for quirky presents at affordable prices, and a range of high quality art, crafts and music by local artists, add to the showcase.  A small stock of Scottish and locally produced drinks are also available.

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday: 11.00am to 3.00pm (temporarily reduced hours) 

Proprietor: Wigtown Festival Company 

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Number 11
Instagram: number11wigtown
Telephone: 01988 402036

Address: 11 North Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HL

The Old Bank Bookshop Wigtown. Proprietors Ian and Joyce Cochrane and their daughter. The outside signage and various bookshelves full of books and sheet music.

The Old Bank Bookshop

We have been selling books at The Old Bank Bookshop for 16 years, starting from scratch (with Wigtown’s first bookshop-baby on the way) and gradually expanding to fill 5 rooms, plus our book-bunker office, with high quality second-hand stock on a wide variety of subjects. 

There is hardly any area we don’t cover: Beekeeping in Russian, anyone? Sorry, sold! For music lovers we have a roomful of sheet music. Over the years we have hosted book launches, talks and
music events and are home to our local U3A Exploring Literature Group. We love to recommend a good read and recently launched our ‘Recommends’ table of new fiction/non-fiction titles. Other new titles include local history and a growing collection of books behind The Bookshop Band’s songs with more to follow. We are also stockists for the award-winning wildlife artist Lisa Hooper and sell prints/cards by Ian D Cochrane.

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday: 10.30am to 5.30pm, Sunday 12noon to 4pm

Proprietors: Ian and Joyce Cochrane

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: The Old Bank Book Shop
Twitter: Old Bank Bookshop
Telephone: 01988 402111

Address: 7 South Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9EH

The Open Book bookshop, Wigtown. An outside corner view of the white building. Inside various bookshelves and the booksellers in residence for the week.

The Open Book

The Open Book is a bookshop with a difference. Each week the shop is taken over by a different bookseller, who gets to experience running a bookshop in Scotland's National Booktown. 

The flat above the shop is listed on AirBnB and the guests are given free reign over the shop for the duration of their stay. They get to decide on window displays, opening times and stock the shelves with second-hand books. The Open Book stocks a range of second hand books, including nature, history, biographies, fiction, children's books and many more. 

The project started back in 2015 and quickly became very popular. Soon, the calendar for a stay was booked out three years ahead (as far as AirBnB would allow) and new vacancies were snapped up in minutes. The Open Book has had guests from all over the world, and is looking forward to welcoming new booksellers in the future. 

Opening Hours

Opening times may vary.

Proprietor: Wigtown Festival Company

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: The Open Book
Twitter: Open Book Wigtown
Telephone: 01988 402010

Address: 7 South Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9EH

ReadingLasses Bookshop and cafe, Wigtown. Outside view of the pink painted shop and sign. Inside various bookshelves and proprietor Jacqui Roberts.

ReadingLasses Bookshop & Café

ReadingLasses boasts a quirky welcoming atmosphere for bookworms with a caffeine habit!  There's plenty of space to relax in comfy chairs and sofas, read a book, enjoy our wonderful coffee and home baking or treat yourself to lunch in our slightly more formal café.

ReadingLasses is the only women's bookshop in Britain and our front room is dedicated to books 'by and about women'.  We are one of only a few independent bookshops who stock directly from Persephone Books in Bloomsbury, a publishing house specialising in reprinting neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century women writers.  Our middle room however, houses a more eclectic collection of books including travel and exploration, history, science and social sciences.  Our café always serves homemade soup and soda bread an a wide range of sandwiches along with a great selection of home baking.  We have gluten free and vegetarian options available.

Opening Hours

Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 10.00am to 4.00pm, Sunday 12noon to 4.00pm

Proprietor: Jacqui Roberts 

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: ReadingLasses
Instagram: readinglasses17
Twitter: ReadingLasses
Telephone: 01988 403266

Address: 17 South Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9EH

Well Read Books. Wigtown. Proprietor Ruth Anderson standing in the doorway to the shop, above her the shop sign. Inside people are browsing the books, a typewriter sits on a chair surrounded by books.

Well-Read Books

In September 2018 I opened Well-Read Books of Wigtown as a retirement project, in a former pub. The premises are bright, the shelves well-organised, and I have a good knowledge of my stock, and books in general. A separate room contains crime, horror, sci fi, and fantasy, and plans are afoot (as Sherlock might have said) to expand these genres into a larger space. 

All secondhand books are in good/very good condition, and I also hold a carefully curated and constantly changing small stock of new books, especially nature writing, Scottish interest and good fiction. You can also choose from a range of greetings cards from local artists and others, notebooks, jigsaws, and small literary-themed gifts.

The online shop contains around 1500 titles, all individually photographed and accurately described. I also run Dark Deeds Book Club for lovers of true and fictional crime. An annual subscription buys 12 books, selected by me, and posted on a monthly basis.

The last two years have seen long hours, hard work and heavy lifting, but I love owning a bookshop, meeting customers old and new, and spending my days surrounded by books. What a great retirement, and what a great town Wigtown is in which to spend it!

Opening Hours

Wednesday to Saturday: 10.00am to 5.00pm

Proprietor: Ruth Anderson

Email: wigtownwellreadbooks@gmail
Facebook: Well-Read Books of Wigtown
Instagram: Well-Read Books of Wigtown
Telephone: 01988 402873

Address: 3 Agnew Crescent, Wigtown, DG8 9DS

The Wigtown Emporium. A stone clad building with large shop windows and the sign above. John and Sara Black stands in front of a bookshelf. Various items for sale within their shop.

The Wigtown Emporium

The Wigtown Emporium is a recent addition to Wigtown High Street.  John and Sara bought the property two years ago and for the last 18 months have been establishing their own brand of curiosity shop.

As well as a collection of interesting and unusual books, they have an ever changing mixture of vintage and retro finds.  From industrial salvage to French lace, they love old technology, unusual lighting, cameras, wall art and, of course, plenty of interesting books.  They actively seek out those one-off and impossible to categorise “found treasures.”

John has years of experience with music related items and all sorts of vintage technology.

Sara has a keen eye for quirky folk art and vintage textiles.  They both love Arts and Crafts and have a knack for hunting out hidden gems.  You might find a beautiful old typewriter or an ancient magic lantern alongside an elegant Art Deco figurine, a pretty French clock or even a Dickens’ first edition.

Opening Hours

Wednesday to Saturday: 10.00am to 4.30pm (times are flexible) and by appointment at other times.

Proprietors: John and Sara Black 

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Wigtown Emporium
Instagram: wigtownemporium
Telephone: 01988 402100

Address: 1 High Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HH