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Blog 4: ReadingLasses

So, about that coffee shop... More than ten years ago, when I was on holiday up here in Dumfries and Galloway, I discovered ReadingLasses, one of the (very) few remaining feminist bookshops in the country. It stayed in my memory, primarily because the books in their fiction section were so similar to the ones in my own study - it was obviously run by people with good taste! So, like a homing pigeon, I've returned there whenever I've been in the Wigtown.
ReadingLasses is going from strength to strength. It has new owners who have extended the business to offer B&B and evening meals. The book business continues to expand. Although the focus is books by or about women, it has a massive range of titles relating to politics, social studies, health, as well as fiction, biography and feminist theory. It is a bibliophiles' paradise, a warren of rooms and storage areas that you are free to wander around without anyone breathing heavily down your neck checking that you're not pilfering the stock! I took my sister there; she's currently working on a biography of Eleanor Marx and was amazed to find an armful of relevant material that she'd not been able to source in London.
There are plenty of excellent bookshops in Wigtown - it is, after all, Scotland's Book Town. What makes ReadingLasses special to me is the welcome that Gerrie, Sue and Bex offer their customers. I spend a lot of time up here on my own, hammering a keyboard, worrying about work, all the usual nonsense. Every time I've visited the shop, I've been made to feel welcome and given a chance to reconnect with the outside world as well as being fed formidable scones. There don't appear to be any strangers in ReadingLasses, only friends.