Independent bookshops are facing tough times ahead — more than 500 closed up shop in the last ten years. Now, The Open Book in Wigmore, Scotland has found an innovative way to attract customers. The bookstore, along with the flat upstairs, are being offered as accommodation on Airbnb: perks include a washer, a dryer and a 40 hour work week.
The Open Book Residency is an initiative launched in 2014 that seeks to attract creative talent to the small seaside town, and help raise awareness of the issues currently faced by booksellers everywhere. The ‘working holiday’ is open to anyone and will cost guests GBP 22 per night. The experience essentially includes volunteering at the bookstore, carrying out the regular duties of a bookseller including opening and closing the store, selling books, stocking and creating window displays. They are also encouraged to keep a blog, documenting their trip as part of the bargain.
Interested persons can book a trip using Airbnb. Guests must stay for a minimum of six days and the self-catering flat accommodates a maximum of two persons. Are there other workplaces that could combine accommodation and experience to offer similar working holidays — a printmaker or recording studio perhaps?