Continuing our monthly feature of Scottish independent bookshops.
The Watermill Bookshop is found in a beautiful converted oatmeal mill in Aberfeldy. They were awarded UK Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2009. As well as books they also sell music, food and drink in the café, and next door is an affiliated homewear shop. What more could you want? An exhibition to have a look around? They also have an art gallery. The Watermill’s latest venture is Film of the Book, where they host the screening of adaptations at the local cinema. On the 20th of May it will be Brighton Rock.
Owner: Kevin Ramage
Location: Aberfeldy – a lovely place just 90 minutes from Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Open Since: 1995
How did you get into bookselling?
It’s a long story. Let’s say gamekeeper turned poacher.
What sort of books do you sell?
Everything, but we are particularly strong in Fiction, Children’s, Scottish, History.
Wet weather reading! More specifically, The Old Ways by Robert MacFarlane is still flying out, and recently Twelve Years A Slave, driven by the success of the film at Aberfeldy’s fantastic new Birks Cinema.
What is your favourite book in the shop?
Land of Mountain and Flood – a wonderful introduction to Scotland’s geology.
What makes an indy bookshop better than an online or chain retailer?
We are here, we are in close contact with our customers so we can respond quickly to ‘what’s new’, and unlike some we pay our fair share of taxes.
What would you like from the next year?
Media observers to stop blindly repeating the propaganda of Amazon and other e-book protagonists. Yes, e-books have their place, but it is as part of the mix not as a replacement for printed books. As Tim Waterstone and booksellers in the USA have observed, e-book sales are ‘plateauing’ very quickly. Our experience is that sales of paperback fiction are even on the rebound. So what do I want – publishers to realise that their interests still lie with bricks and mortar shops.
The Watermill is a ‘Four-ring circus’ – with busy café, art gallery and next door our interiors shop, Homer (Simpson or Odyssey – you choose!)..
Do you have any interesting events coming up?
You can find the bookshop at Mill Street, Aberfeldy, PH15 2BG. They are open from 10am till 5pm every day of the week (11am-5pm Sunday), and are well worth a visit. They have a mailing list, blog and are on Facebook.