A PARTIALLY sighted Borders woman has made a lifelong love of reading into a one-woman start-up enterprise.

Victoria Ross (37) from Houndwood near Eyemouth grew up developing her wide-ranging interest in literature, from science, history, philosophy, psychology and the esoteric, to thrillers, comedy, fantasy fiction and romance.

Now she wants to help spread the knowledge.

Her collection began from books that some of her family members wished to sell, and also acquisitions from local individuals.

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She said: "I have started a book-selling business named Ineffable Books with an online shop plus a small real shop within The Fuchsia Centre and Tea Room in Houndwood.

"Ineffable means 'too great to be expressed' or 'beyond understanding' and, although small, my collection is widely varying. As my website moto states, 'There is no bookshop too small – books to broaden the mind!' This means there’s everything from reading for enjoyment to reference or learning."

"I was inspired by finding rare, interesting, and enjoyable books and making them available to people, which is why I now have such a varied collection! I’m growing my collection of vintage and antiquarian books, too, so will be adding a section for those to the website, so watch this space.

"Some rare finds I already have include a wonderful photograph album, 'MASKS Photograph album' created by Richard Branson in collaboration with a group of celebrities and The Princes Trust. I have only seen one other copy of this on the web. I also have some 'steampunk whodunnit' novellas by Steve Turnbull, who signed them all, and some lovely vintage and non-vintage illustrated children’s books, plus a few other first editions here and there."

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Victoria's sight loss is due to a condition called left-sided Hemianopia. "It resulted from an operation I had as a teenager in 1999, so I've had 23 years with limited vision," she says. She, herself, must read books in large print or with a magnifier. "I do love reading, and my own favourite authors are Phillipa Gregory, Sophie Kinsella, and JK. Rowling - in fact, I've just re-read the Harry Potter books.

"I started up Ineffable Books partly out of frustration from trying to find a job as a young woman with sight loss. I decided to do it during the covid crisis when it occurred to me to try working for myself. When I saw that people were becoming even more interested in buying and reading books during lockdown I thought that I wanted to contribute to that."

As well as selling books from her own stock, Victoria also aims to develop a book-search service as well, helping readers to track down that elusive or rare title they want.

For orders on Victoria's website, the cost of postage within the UK is covered in the book price. "I aim to offer my customers a wide variety of books to choose from for decent prices," she added.

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"I source books as locally as possible, with environmental friendliness being the aim, and sustainable packaging will be used where possible to post them. Furthermore, the fact they are second-hand - some of them are vintage - means they also stay in circulation, and I'm contributing to helping the planet!"

* www.ineffablebooks.co.uk. The shop within The Fuchsia Centre and Tea Room in Houndwood is closed until the next Spring/Summer season, however visits can be made by appointment.