Calling all Airbnb fans and bookworms! You - yes, you! - can run a charming seaside Scottish bookshop for a week and pretend that it's your very own.
Most of us easily get caught up with the natural hubbub of life... work, socializing, financial obligations and everything else that life throws our way can make us yearn for a getaway to calm our nerves. Giving up all of the stress for a sleepy Scottish town catering to the literary needs of the local sweet and colorful characters sounds like a plot stolen from a Hallmark romcom or cozy romance novel. But for Jessica Fox, co-founder of The Open Book in Scotland, this plot is as real as can be.
Fox was, more or less, a typical American woman who found herself living a fast-paced life in Los Angeles, working for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She also worked as a writer and filmmaker. However, she realized that although she was surrounded by people, she hardly knew anyone and eventually she longed for a change. She began to dream about fully indulging in her love of reading and running a bookshop in a little village on the Scottish coast. Soon enough, she found Wigtown, Scotland's very own "National Book Town" and lo and behold, found a bookshop for sale along with space upstairs that was able to be converted into personal quarters. While finding her way around Wigtown, she also found true love as well.
Fox told Bookbub that one day while celebrating her residency in Wigtown at a local pub, she began discussing her journey to Scotland with a friend. "... I couldn’t be the only crazy American who dreamed of having a small bookshop in an idyllic town on the Scottish coast," Fox said. "We came up with the idea of the first ever bookshop holiday..."
Thanks to the power of Airbnb, the charming living space upstairs and the equally charming bookstore downstairs can be all yours for $59 a night. Fox explained that it works as a short-term residency program that allows Airbnb guests to rent the entire building and act as a Scottish bookstore owner for a week or two - enough time to forget all about those pesky responsibilities at home!
According to Airbnb, The Open Book has a 95% 5-star rating for the check-in process and a 100% 5-star rating for the bookshop's dreamy seaside location. 79 5-star reviews such as this one from July boast the magic that booking The Open Book offers.
"If you love books this place is heaven on Earth," the review reads. "The flat is adorable and very homey. The bookstore is a place any book lover could spend hours in, and you will. Highly recommend going here, you won't want to leave."
Fox says that she gets visitors from all walks of life. People from South Korea to Australia to California have booked a stay at The Open Book, sleeping in the cozy upstairs apartment at night and selling books to Scottish locals by day.
"It is a real-life adventure," Fox told Bookbub. "You get to dive into a charming bookshop and become its proprietor. Opening hours, book prices, book stock, window displays, the design of the shop — everything is up to you."
Have you ever dreamt of being a Scottish bookshop owner, if only for a week? Would you rent this one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!