Our First Bookshop Year by Ruth and Annie

Read about the first chapter of our bookshop story...

The Bookselling Adventure


It’s been quite a year since Annie, Ruth and Gus the Sprocker began the bookselling adventure last April. We’ve hosted a story-telling afternoon, a six-month anniversary party, a poetry sharing and a book launch. We’ve sold books; every genre, shape, size and colour of book, and even some which talk back. They’ve all found their way to loving new homes.


Numerous people have stepped through our doors. Family, friends, new customers, regular customers, Steading folk and several furry, four-legged visitors have entered our literary domain and been warmly welcomed.


The Bookshop Team



There have also been compliments. Often verbalised in standard format but sometimes conveyed on an ecstatic inhalation as the unique bookish aroma is savoured.

‘I stepped into a bookshop and breathed in that perfume of paper and magic that strangely no one had ever thought of bottling.’ Carlo Ruiz Zafor

Often, we hear a delighted whoop as another section of the shop is discovered, along with the exclamation, ‘It goes on forever!’


One of the nicest, recurrent plaudits we receive is for the large, eclectic selection of books we stock. This is especially gratifying because we expend much time and energy buying, transporting and organising books. When customers notice and are moved to remark, it feels like confirmation that we are maintaining the standard set by Helen Trussell, who ran the bookshop so successfully for 12 years.


So often, ‘a visit to a bookshop has cheered me, and reminded me that there are good things in the world.’ Vincent Van Gogh


Despite some quizzical expressions at the time we announced our intention to enter the world of self-employed retailing, family and friends have been unfailingly supportive. Special mention to Gwen Boardman, cherished step-mother and generous loan provider. We are indebted to colleagues around the Steading for advice and guidance about everything from stubborn tills, unfathomable music performance licences and the pros and cons of card machine providers to design assistance with bookmarks and, coming soon, our new and exciting bookshop logo. Your patience has made this giant leap much less scary.


Then there is our Wednesday Wonder-woman, Jan B, who enables us to have a free day each week, confident that both the books and the customers are in capable hands. Thanks Jan, we’re lucky to have you on the team.


The year has not been without its learning curves, some steeper than others. We now know, for example, that it’s one thing to love books and quite another to keep multiple shelves stocked with a range of titles to suit diverse tastes and budgets. On the plus side, Ruth has been able to indulge her passion for buying books with very little guilt, provided she does actually put them on the shelves.


There’s a physical aspect to the job too; boxes of books can be heavy. Fortunately, many years of nursing has taught us to look after our backs and so far, we’ve not suffered any major injuries.


Perhaps the nursing skills have also been useful when dealing with the occasional challenger. Not everyone, for example, is a fan of our layout changes and people can be vociferous in their disapproval. We occasionally catch a mention of that antithesis-to-bookshops, the Kindle, often closely followed by an apology. No matter, we assure them generously. We are realists and accept that e-readers are here to augment, though hopefully not replace, the paper book experience. However, instant exclusion may follow detection of the phrase, ‘I could get it cheaper on Amazon.’


‘All bookshops are full of stories, and stories want to be heard.’ Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book.

Learning to love numbers

By far the furthest foray from our comfort zones has been getting to grips with book keeping. It’s been a massive test learning to manage business accounts, quarterly VAT returns and PAYE staff wages. So far, so good. Despite using a prehistoric ledger system which provoked a sardonic, ‘I think I can still use one of these,’ from our accountant, he’s happy with our record keeping. We’re getting there and it’s no longer feeling like the Munro bagging task it once was.


‘I am very happy in second-hand bookshops; would a gardener not be happy in a garden?’ Hilary Mantel



Of the many positive outcomes from our decision to buy a bookshop business, the most significant one is that we are enjoying working alongside each other. We started out together many years ago in a pioneering residential hospital for people with learning disabilities. Happily, it turns out we can now be partners in business, generally harmoniously. We are helped without a doubt by this stunning location. We get to spend our days surrounded by trees and nature and within easy reach of the spectacular River Findhorn. And we can bring the dog to the office – what’s not to love?


Written by Ruth at Logie Steading Bookshop













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Our First Bookshop Year by Ruth and Annie

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at http://www.fnlft.org.uk/downloads/)
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.