Our December Bookshop of the Month 2017 is The Mainstreet Trading Company who have been celebrating ten years since they transformed a former auction house into a destination venue in the picturesque Scottish Border village of St Boswell’s (brown tourist sign included!).

Bookshop interior overhead 2016

We highly recommend that you visit and spend a few blissful hours here – there is something to tempt everyone. Mainstreet boasts a gorgeous home store and a wonderfully inviting deli, but at its heart is the beautiful bookshop and café. After admiring their magnificent window displays (check out their archive here), you will walk in and be greeted by the unmistakeable aroma of books and coffee, there’s nothing quite like it. You will see crisp white shelves, carefully curated tables and stunning displays that will entice you into browsing, and there is always a bookseller on hand should you need recommendations or help finding a title. Be sure to check out their specialist Children’s and Cookery areas.

Mainstreet is a bookshop that would be hard to leave empty handed, and why would you when you can choose your book (or several!), settle in to the café with a cuppa, crack the spine and begin. Go on, you know you want to…

We caught up with owner Rosamund de la Hay to ask her a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our December Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe The Mainstreet Trading Company in three words?
Welcoming, enthusiastic, knowledgeable.

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store? 
The Book Burrows (or the new books till with our beautiful new wooden counter!)

3. Where do you like to read?
In the sun room at home or on a beach on the west coast of Scotland (ideally not in the rain)

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
I’d almost certainly revert to being a publisher as in my past life.

5. Excluding The Mainstreet Trading Company – what is your favourite bookshop?
Tricky one, there are so many lovely ones!  Either The Golden Hare in Edinburgh or Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath.

The Mainstreet Trading Company can be found at:
St Boswells
Scottish Borders

Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Bookstore of the Week – Galignani

Today we are hopping across the channel to celebrate the continent’s first English language bookshop, Galignani!
Galugani Bookstore

The humble – or in Galignani’s case, not so humble – bookshop has long been a cornerstone of French culture and society, and the French minister for culture has even introduced measures to dissuade French customers from buying books from big online retailers. Although Paris is peppered with shining examples of the value of independent bookstores, for sheer selection and multilingual, super-helpful staff, we encourage all avid readers to make the pilgrimage to this mecca of literature.

Librairie galignani

Here’s what Galignani have to say on the subject:

Librairie Galignani is a place where books are not mere products meant to be sold, but rather precious objects of wisdom and aesthetic delight.

Galignani has been based at its sumptuous Rue de Rivoli location since 1856 and its long history is manifest in the dark wooden bookshelves, rolling ladders and old-school dedication to superior service.  In fact, the Galignani family have been publishing since the sixteenth century – not long after the printing press was invented! The first manuscript they published was a Latin grammar, but these days Galignani is a haven for weary tourists and homesick expats who saunter down the Rue de Rivoli from the Louvre to revel in the best selection of English-language books in the land.

Galignani Paris

Despite being known for its extensive collection of lovely English editions, Galignani is a truly international bookshop that offers books in a multitude of tongues; but their speciality is spectacular coffee table books that will shatter your Ryanair luggage allowance. During the German occupation, Galignani were banned from selling books in English, and the unparalleled selection of fine art books they were then forced to specialise in continues to define their trade today.

It goes without saying that stepping inside Galignani is a feast for the eyes, but even the window displays are a visual treat. Galignani make a point of updating their windows every fortnight to entice readers in with a wealth of books on the hot topics of the moment. They collaborate with the crème de la crème of French designers; this Christmas they featured a gorgeous display of mini Dior gowns inspired by Dior’s lush fashion tomes. Even Karl Lagerfeld has been spotted browsing the shelves, and if it’s good enough for the King of Chanel, it’s good enough for us!

Galignani Dior

Karl Lagerfeld










Find them Online here & and on Facebook.

Or if you happen to find yourself in Paris: 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France