An independent book store in East Ayrshire has scooped a prestigious award and been crowned the 'Best Independent Bookshop in Scotland'.

Organised by The Bookseller, the business magazine of the book industry since 1858, ‘the Nibbies’ has been the leading awards for the book trade since 1990.

Sponsored by book wholesaler Gardners, the award celebrates bookshops that continue to support local communities with creative, specialist and community-centred activities. Winners are selected by the judges from 77 finalists, which were announced in February. 

Judged by leading industry experts, authors, journalists and celebrities the Nibbies are regarded as ‘the BAFTAs of the book trade’

The Book Nook in Stewarton has been revealed as the winner of the award for Scotland, having been nominated for the previous two years running.

The Herald: The Book Nook in StewartonThe Book Nook in Stewarton (Image: India Hammal)

Now in its third year of operation, and first in a relocated space on Stewarton High Street, the Book Nook has ramped up its activities and initiatives within the local community, including book clubs for adults and children and a Mini Book Festival, while valuable outreach included a Book Nook Book Bank of donations and workshops for children in care.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller managing editor, said: “This has been amongst the most competitive Independent Bookshop of the Year judging process since the award was conceived.

"Not just in the record number of overall submissions, but in the sheer unbelievable quality of literally every shop that entered. Getting down to these nine regional and country winners was a very difficult process.

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"Indie bookshops across the UK and Ireland are thriving and have met the very difficult recent trading conditions with creativity and cutting-edge innovation. What is truly cheering is that we see this in new shops that have popped up since the pandemic to venerable stores which have been trading for decades.

"In the last few years I have been calling this period an indie bookshop renaissance, but I think we have gone beyond that, we are in the golden age."

The Book Nook opened in 2021 and is open from 10-4, Monday to Saturday.

The nine regional and country winners are now in contention for the overall Independent Bookshop of the Year Award, announced at The British Book Awards ceremony at Grosvenor House London on Monday 13th May 2024.

The overall Independent Bookshop of the Year winner will also compete to be crowned Book Retailer of the Year.