AN Edinburgh-based digital book club and subscription service has reported sharp growth since the lockdown was introduced.

Rare Birds Book Club has seen 52 per cent growth over the course of the past four weeks.

It comes after the business was about to hit 1,000 subscribers per month, with about half of those are buying for themselves, and half buying as gifts.

During the lockdown, the emphasis on sales has shifted towards gift purchasing with hundreds of orders including messages of comfort, the company said.

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It added that its pay-as-you go option has also done well, and the business has recorded a marked increase in international sales, with the market taking up 10% of all orders.

In the short-term, mail-outs are now being done from the owner’s home, with monthly book deliveries complimented by the digital book club.

Rachel Wood, founder of Rare Birds Book Club, said: “My spare room is basically now a small warehouse, but it means we’ve been able to stay fully operational during lockdown.

“Once books are picked, packed and ready to go, they are collected by Royal Mail in a seamless operation that is completely contactless. My staff and I are all isolated in our own homes and have different responsibilities to keep us ticking over. I do the big send outs and individual orders are done elsewhere.”

Ms Wood has also launched a podcast.

She said: “The first few episodes were pre-recorded and ready to go, so we were able to launch quickly. Now in lockdown we record remotely; each of us with the same microphone we’d use together. We host the discussion through a video chat on my computer so it’s all online.”

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