Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Britain's 50 Best Bookshops...

Here's some brilliant shop news to keep you going whilst we're away this week...

We're great - it's official! We're one of the country's 50 Best Bookshops according to a recent feature in The Independent. We're included in a brand new for 2010 '50 Of The Best' list with a host of other fantastic (and award winning) shops such as Jaffe & Neale in Chipping Norton and The Watermill in Aberfeldy as well as our friends at Edinburgh's Children's Bookshop and the Yellow Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury. Our entry reads...

"As with Chris's other Scottish recommendations, he rates this business for having 'created a shop with its own personality, by combining bookselling with wider reading/arts activities to create a focal point for local activities'."

Aw shucks. We try.

Over the two and a half years we're been open we've tried our hardest to bring our customers (that's you!) a li'l bit of everything reading-wise: books you really want. And as well as simply selling books, we've done a whole lot more - we've donated to local charities and fundraisers, worked with schools on events and competitions, linked up with other businesses to show how great the town's indie sector is, supported local arts groups and festivals with ticket sales services, and sold books everywhere from company picnics and playgroups to Christmas Fairs and conferences! On top of that we've taken part in industry wide initiatives such as IndieBound and World Book Day, local initiatives and events such as 'Cheque It Out', and the Victorian Street Fair, and we've even found time to bring our customers our very own unique, exclusive, handmade, personalised greetings and Bo'ness Fair Day cards! Whew! (No wonder we need a holiday this week!)

OK, so we're not be one of the country's bigger shops, we don't have unlimited budgets, and we may be a little off the beaten track, but like many other hardworking indie bookshops we've been quietly busying ourselves behind the scenes trying really hard to bring everything together. We want the shop to be a true community bookshop, and I'm over the moon that all our hard work has been recognised in this way. So thanks to our customers for supporting us over the last few years, and thanks to Chris Conway of for nominating us and the rest of the voting panel for seeing fit to include us with such other great bookshops!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Shop Closed - October 27th to November 5th inclusive...

Just a little note to say that the shop will be closed for a few days from October 27th whilst we take a well earned holiday! We will re-open on Saturday November 6th so you can collect and order books again then. Apologies for any inconvenience! We hope you have a wonderful Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night whilst we're away!

Monday, 18 October 2010

New Local Book - Matt Steele, Architect

We're lucky here in Bo'ness to have so much of the town's rich and varied history documented in some wonderful books. ' Local history' has always been one of the most popular sections in the shop, and we've heard stories of books such as 'Old Bo'ness', 'Bo'ness Coal Pits', and 'Bo'ness Speed Hill Climb' winging their way to family, friends and ex-pats in numerous far flung corners of the globe. So with that in mind we're really excited to have another new local book to bring you!

Matt Steele, Architect: A Biography focuses on the life of Matt Steele and his work, particularly in and around Bo'ness. Beautifully laid out, and with pages and pages of wonderful photographs, this book takes in many of the well known sights of the town and explains the architectural history behind them. Personally, I had known of Steele's involvement in the Hippodrome as well as in the building directly opposite the shop here (previously open as 'Wevelings') but I hadn't realised he had undertaken so many comissions around the rest of the town. From shop fronts and offices to churches, sawmills and cinemas, not to mention numerous family homes all around the town, Steele's designs and influence is clearly stamped on the industrial, commercial and residential history of Bo'ness.

If you've always wanted to know a little more about how the town came to look this way, then this book is a must have, and it's a great addition to the selection of local history books available here at the shop.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Past Papers

Looking forward to the next few months: the falling leaves, the warm fires, and the (dare I say it?) Christmas shopping? Me too! But spare a thought for the nation's teenagers who not only have their exams next May to think of, but also have to study hard for their mock exams later this year before they can switch off and enjoy the change of seasons...

But it's not all doom and gloom! To ease their stress levels and get them used to the exam formats, we have a selection of Past Papers in stock now! From Standard Grade to Advanced Higher and all points in between we've Bright Red's latest edition of these necessary study aids containing past papers from 2006 to 2010. So if your teen has trouble with trigonometry or bother with biology, we've the past paper to help. And if we don't have the exact level and subject you need then don't fret, we can order it for you to arrive in a few days! And just to make sure everyone is all set for any question the exams might throw your way, we also can order study guides, textbooks, reading notes and more. Lesson 1: If a teacher recommends a particular book, take notes, let us know and we'll get it for you!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Gift Vouchers...

Did you know that as well as the ever popular National Book Tokens Gift Cards, we also have our own Gift Vouchers? Well we do! Our vouchers can be tailored to suit whatever value you need, and they can be used to purchase anything in the shop - including any books we order in for you too! (They also come with a lovely wee card!)

Our vouchers have been popular with schools as prizes, and make great birthday presents for adults and kids alike! So if you're ever stuck for gift ideas, pop in and pick up some vouchers!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Signed Copies...

We love surprise author visits! Last year we had the pleasure of a surprise visit from fiction author Lesley Pearse when she was in town, and on Saturday it was the turn of Andy Hamilton, co-author (with his brother Dave) of the brilliant 'Self Sufficient-ish Bible' to pop in whilst passing through. Like Lesley, Andy was lovely enough to sign a few copies of his book for us, so if you've been after a copy, now is the time to pick one up!

The Self Sufficient-ish Bible is the book for you if you don't have the space or time to be totally self-reliant, but crave creative ideas for recycling, growing organic vegetables and establishing an environmentally friendly home office. It's full of small suggestions to get you started, and bigger ones for when your confidence grows, as well as recipes, herbal remedies, eco-friendly travel solutions and much much more. If you are one of those organised types who've started their Christmas lists already then this is definitely one to make a note of!