Once upon a time, there was a couple called Sonja and Phil. Both had always loved to read but often found themselves short on time to do so.
They also loved to travel, and so reading was most often done while travelling, after picking up books in the airport book shop or reading books found in their accommodation. It was on one such trip and in one such accommodation, that Sonja found herself reading a book set in the exact location they were staying in.
The Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
Black House by Peter May really brought the area to life and made her look at it through a different lens. Added to that, reading the follow-up books of the trilogy after returning home kept the trip alive.
Later that same year, while on their honeymoon in New Zealand, Sonja came across another book by chance, Outsiders: Stories From the Fringe of New Zealand Society by Gerard Hindmarsh, that had them detouring to a specific location described in the book, just to see it for themselves. Despite having grown up in New Zealand, there were so many new things to be discovered that could be found in books.
It was then that they realised the power that books have to help us explore a place, as well as drive us to discover whole new series, genres, authors, and stories about it.
So while this discovering of books through travel led to some amazing reads it meant some not so great books as well, and left all a little too much to chance.
But with a new little addition to the family, reading became something they seemingly had even less time to do.
Then, 2020 came along and made things all a little harder on the travel front.
So with more time and less travel, Sonja and Phil thought why not purposefully seek out books about places that they wanted to go, and why not start with their current home of Scotland, diverse and inspirational as it is?
Suddenly, they both found themselves up to their necks in books written by some of the worlds best storytellers! The pile of books next to their bed grew more extensive, and their passion for places to visit and the stories of Scotland continued to grow.
They read about romance, they read about crime, they read about history and hardship, old stories and new by the famous and the just debuted. There are just so many options! Plus less time watching dubious television shows! Win, win.
So that’s a little tale about our journey, you’ll be glad to know we all lived happily ever after…
Okay, but why start a book club?
…until that is, we had a nagging thought. And, of course, there’s is nothing worse than a nagging thought!
If we loved this idea so much, surely there would be others who did too. People who want to discover new books and talk about them, who want to be motivated to read more and to have fun doing it.
We needed to build a place that would help people explore more of Scotland and its storytellers.
Thus the Scotland Book Club was born.
It was very much an “if you build it, they will come” moment! We wanted to create a space to talk to more people about the fantastic books we were discovering. It was as simple as that.
But also more than that. We know how easy it is to sign up to something but not really follow through with it. How time can get away from you and how busy we can all get.
Having worked in Scottish tourism and travel for a fair few years, we also knew that we could offer more than your standard club. If this last year and a bit has taught us anything, it’s that you can travel far and learn a lot just from the comfort of your own home.
We decided to build a community for people out there that have the same passions we have. We love the idea we can help people get excited about reading again while supporting Scottish authors too.
So, now our happy ending has a sequel! All we need to do now is see if others out there want to go on this adventure with us…
Sound like your cup of tea?
Great, grab a biscuit and come and join us.