Courtesy of Airbnb

Renters of this apartment above a local bookstore also get to manage the shop downstairs.

October 05, 2015

If you've ever wanted to run a bookstore minus all of the start-up costs and uncertainty of success, head to Scotland. There's an Airbnb listing in Wigtown, Scotland that offers much more than a bed and pillow to catch your head at night: Guests of The Open Book are also expected to work in the downstairs bookstore. Adrian Turpin, director of the Wigtown Book Festival (the group that organizes The Open Book rentals), sees this as an experience rather than cheap labor. That being said, they're able to offer the rental for a more than reasonable weekly price—about $305 for seven nights—just to cover base costs and keep the bookstore running.

Aside from taking care of basic store responsibilities, guests are invited to make their own mark on the space, whether that's turning it into an impromptu concert space or hosting a nightly reading. The best part: No previous bookstore experience is necessary. All guests are given the proper training before actually taking over the store management. Just make sure to bring along your love of literature and bookstore smells.

Wigtown has a long history of books—the town of around 800 people is even known as Scotland's official Book Town. According to Wigtown's website, The Open Book is one of around 20 book-focused businesses—with a total of more than 250,000 books in total—in the area. Every year, the town hosts a book festival with more than 180 literary-themed events for attendees from near and far. The festival may be coming to end for this year, but The Open Book experience will be open year-round. For more information on how to book your stay, head over to the listing on Airbnb.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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