Scottish indie bookshop The Mainstreet Trading Company has appointed Sir Michael Morpurgo and Maggie O’Farrell as ‘Mainstreet Makars’ as part of a year-long campaign to celebrate its 10th birthday.
The shop opened in St Boswells in the Scottish Borders in 2008 just as the “perfect storm of global recession, e-books and the rise of Amazon hit the high street”, said the owners Rosamund and Bill de la Hey.
“Many believed [we] had lost [our] minds”, said the pair. “Happily this turned out to be an overly-pessimistic view”.
To celebrate 10 years, Mainstreet will be running a year-long campaign including selecting a favourite book from each year, producing a range of 10th birthday merchandise and running a children’s summer promotion.
As part of a year of celebrations, and in recognition of their “huge support” over the years, the shop has announced Morpurgo and O’Farrell as ‘Mainstreet Makars’, representing both the children’s and adult book world.
Morpurgo said being made a Mainstreet Makar – in “such great company with Maggie O’Farrell” – was an “honour”.
“Mainstreet is one of my very favourite bookshops – a place where the love of books, the sharing of knowledge and enthusiasm of Bill and Rosamund and everyone who works there, are every bit as important as the selling of books. And there is no better place for a delicious bowl of soup!”, he said.
O’Farrell added: “Question: where can you find expert booksellers, delicious cake, a story cupboard with a secret under the floorboards, tables piled high with tempting stacks of books, and rabbits dressed as angels? Answer: the Mainstreet Trading Company, in a little town called St Boswells in the Scottish borders. Not only is it a beautiful place to browse and wander, under its blue and white rafters, it is a bookshop to make you fall in love with reading all over again. Scotland is lucky to have it. Happy birthday, Mainstreet.”
Over the years the shop has won several prestigious awards including Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards, Deli of the Year at the Farm Shop & Deli Awards, and Best Bookshop according to the Telegraph’s list of Best Small Shops.