Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

SPONSORED: Ever dreamt of living in a bookshop? Now you can!

airbnb scotland bookstore

The idea for The Open Book – a unique bookstore-cum-Airbnb rental – started, as many great (and more than a few not so great) ideas do, over a drink in the pub.

The Open Book’s beginnings

An American woman had visited the small town of Wigtown – dubbed “Scotland’s National Book Town” – after seeing a job listing for a bookseller and ended up staying far longer than originally intended.

She pointed out that there would be other people who would like to come and try running a bookstore and from there The Open Book was born.

Inside The Open Book in Wigtown

Listed on Airbnb, guests can stay for a week or two in the Wigtown establishment, living in the apartment upstairs and running the second-hand bookshop downstairs.

Set in the beautiful countryside of Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland, it’s a truly unforgettable experience for any booklover and often features in lists of the most unique places to stay on holiday.

Wigtown becomes internationally famous

Harvey Lindsay of the Wigtown Book Festival, which set up and oversees The Open Book, estimates that at least a couple of hundred people have holidayed at this special place.

He said: “We’ve had someone from every continent except Antarctica, with most people visiting from the USA and Canada.”

And once they have checked-in, the shop and the flat are in their hands.

“Guests can run the bookshop however they like – within reason – including changing the window displays or the writing on the chalkboard and because we have kept it as simple as possible to run, the induction only take a few minutes and the process is as easy as we could make it!”

Airbnb guests can run the bookshop and stay upstairs

For someone who already has everything, or who wants to do something different, an experience like this can be the perfect gift or surprise.

Become part of the Scottish book community

It also has an impact on the local community, not just because it guarantees a much-loved independent bookstore stays open.

“Although only two people can stay in the flat upstairs, we’ve had guests come with friends who have stayed in other local accommodation so they could run the bookshop together.

“It’s also nice to bring people to Wigtown outwith the main tourist and book festival season – the town has a specific atmosphere and feeling that visitors enjoy.”

And guests are made to feel welcome by residents of the town.

“We have locals who like to pop in every week and say hello to the new booksellers – and some even invite them to have a home-cooked meal with them.

“It makes them feel welcome and we’ve had a lot of people come back to Wigtown after staying at The Open Book to connect with friends they made during their experience.”

The apartment above The Open Book in Wigtown.

One-of-a-kind Airbnb experience

As a not for profit experience, the money guests pay to stay at The Open Book goes back into the costs of running the bookstore and flat.

With the low cost of staying and the truly one-of-a-kind opportunity, it’s perhaps no surprise that The Open Book is booked solid for the next three years and has a 4.9 star rating on Airbnb.

And for Harvey and his colleagues at Wigtown Book Festival, using Airbnb for bookings is a convenient way to keep everything together.

“It’s generally a very easy way to consolidate everything you need to keep track of, plus it’s handy for contacting guests and viewing the booking calendar.

“Although I mostly manage The Open Book’s bookings, other staff can easily step in if needed and find what they are looking for.”

To find out more about becoming a Host on Airbnb, or to book your next getaway and experience, visit the Airbnb website.