FISHING books are one of the top subjects helping a Peebles shop hook in readers.

Particularly during the fishing seasons, angling books are a big seller at Northgate store Priorsford Books, but almost anything can have its day, says owner Emma Davey.

When the shop last featured in the Peeblesshire News, more than two-and-a-half years ago, Emma, 36, was just starting out in the business of second-hand selling after working in the conservation of paper.

Emma, occasionally assisted by her partner Malcolm MacCallum, 49, said: “Our most popular books are about fishing, in season, local and Scottish history, and fiction.

“Though it constantly changes, one week it could be poetry and the next something else.

“It has been my ambition to have a second-hand bookshop for years and I started the shop with books I had collected over the years.

“That was a good place to start, but I also go to book sales and shops round the country as we are always looking out for interesting additions to our collection. 

“People are also very generous and donate books to us, it is a mixture of sources and at times we are quite full.”

The shop currently has about 3,000 books on its shelves, with an additional 1,000 also listed online through Abe Books, with photographs and descriptions.

Emma spoke about her online listings and said: “Being from a conservation background, I am a bit pernickety in my descriptions, whereas some sellers just say, ‘Good’, which means I can end up spending quite a lot of time on each book.

“Some days we do a lot of work online, especially during the quieter months, but usually we only put the more unusual books up, such as the ‘Sheep Shearing in Canada’ type of books.

“There’s a mixture of books, ranging from £5 to £100 in value, which might not work so well in the shop but people might be searching for online.”

Malcolm is in charge of the shop’s social media but joked that some social media is a “dance step too far”.

Malcolm said: “I am too old for TikTok. We try to minimise the dancing we do in our social media.”

Emma, whose family home is in Peebles, commutes from Edinburgh and added: “We have tried consistently to open five days a week.

“We really rely on local people supporting us and we are part of the Peebles Business and Retailers Association, which runs many events.

“Although Christmas is busy with gift buying, the summer is really busy too because of tourists in town.

“Saturday is usually the busiest day of the week, although in summer it can be consistently busy each day.

“We also try to source different book-themed gifts such as book marks, mugs and book holders and are always on the lookout for new ideas.

“Our only new books are by local authors on this area.”