All Events

Sat 7th Oct 2017

Bookshop Day

with Patrick Benson, illustrator-in-residence

This year on Bookshop Day (Sat 7th Oct), we are delighted to be celebrating 25 years of a modern classic and Mainstreet favourite, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson.

Read more
Few memoirs have inspired so many snorts of laughter, spiked with an aftertaste of pathos. Do not miss this chance to hear Adam’s first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice, hilarity, horror and maddening bureaucracy at Mainstreet on Thurs 5th Oct.
Thu 5th Oct 2017

Adam Kay

Talking about his memoir of life as a junior doctor

Meet Adam Kay and the funniest book ever written about the NHS – This is Going to Hurt. Few memoirs have inspired so many snorts of laughter, spiked with an aftertaste of pathos. Do not miss this chance to hear Adam’s first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice, hilarity, horror and maddening bureaucracy.

Read more
Thu 7th Sep 2017

Tom Kitchin

Cookery Demo

Tom Kitchin loves cooking with game. His beautiful new book, Tom’s Kitchen; Meat & Game, takes a fresh look at meat and game for the home cook. Venison, partridge, pheasant, grouse, rabbit, hare and all things wild find their way into fantastic roasts, full flavoured pasta dishes, terrines and warming soups, richly flavoured pies and puddings and so much more.

Read more
Tue 8th Aug 2017

Vintage Summer

For the past few years Vintage Publishing have run a summer campaign to find their best Vintage Indie Bookshop. This year we decided to go for it!  Regulars to Mainstreet will be familiar with our beautiful vintage Citroen H Van – what better way to support Vintage publishing than by creating a Vintage pop-up bookshop…

Read more
Fri 4th Aug 2017

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Quiz Night

Summer 2017 marks the 20th Anniversary since first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Rosamund was lucky enough to work at Bloomsbury from the very beginning of the Harry Potter series until the Deathly Hallows in 2007, so this summer has proved a trip down memory lane. As part of their celebrations, Bloomsbury announced that 20 lucky bookshops around the UK would win the right to host a Harry Potter Quiz night, the winners of which would then go forward to a national final to be held in the autumn, we were thrilled to be selected as one of the 20.

Read more
Sat 17th Jun 2017

Joanna Trollope

Event in collaboration with the Borders Book Festival

Join us in partnership with the Borders Book Festival on Sat 17th June when Joanna Trollope will be talking about her new novel, City of Friends.

Read more
Thu 15th Jun 2017

When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi

Book Review

This is a book to read in one sitting, in fact, I challenge you to look away. One man’s meditation on his life in medicine, set against his terminal diagnosis with inoperable cancer part way through the writing. Powerful, poignant stuff, not least his wife’s afterword.

Read more
Sat 3rd Jun 2017

Afternoon Tea with Salley Vickers

Please join us for a real treat on Saturday 3rd June – afternoon tea with a master in the art of fiction, Salley Vickers. We are huge fans of her most recent novel, Cousins, and this event is to celebrate the publication of the paperback edition.

Read more
Dan Toombs at Mainstreet Trading demonstrating recipes from his book, The Curry Guy
Thu 25th May 2017

Dan Toombs, The Curry Guy

Cookery Demo

Continuing our foodie theme for May, we are delighted to announce that Dan Toombs, aka, The Curry Guy will be with us at Mainstreet on Thurs 25th May.

Read more
Declan Murphy bring to words existence on the frontier between life and death, to describe the incredible bond between man and horse.
Tue 23rd May 2017

Centaur – A man, A horse, A Ghost

Declan Murphy and Ami Rao in conversation with Stuart Kelly, talking about Centaur

The Borders has a rich tradition of the horse, join us at Mainstreet on Tues 23rd May to hear the astonishing true story of a jockey who, quite literally, came back from the dead…

Read more
Sumayya Usmani at mainstreet Trading giving a cooking demonstration from her beautiful new book, Mountain Berries and Desert Spice.
Fri 5th May 2017

Sumayya Usmani

Cookery Demo

Sumayya Usmani, author of Summers Under the Tamarind Tree, will be with us at Mainstreet on Fri 5th May to give a cooking demonstration from her beautiful new book, Mountain Berries and Desert Spice.

Read more
Wed 26th Apr 2017

Modern Calligraphy Workshop

Calligraphy Workshop with Imogen Owen

We have been fans (and stockists) of Imogen Owen’s beautiful card range for many years, so we are delighted to be able to host a first for Mainstreet…

Read more
Portrait of Malachy Tallack
Thu 13th Apr 2017

Malachy Tallack

Author Event

Regular visitors to Mainstreet will know that we are big fans of Malachy Tallack’s highly acclaimed first book, 60 Degrees North. We are delighted to announce that he’ll be with us on Thurs 13th April to talk about his new book, The Un-Discovered Islands.

Read more
Thu 13th Apr 2017

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Book Review

A slim volume that packs a punch, examining the life of Shostakovich, in the elegant form of a Julian Barnes novel. Life, art, the nature of courage are set against the background of Soviet Russia. There are moments of great wit, and electric jolts of fear as he navigates the perilous and often arbitrary nature of surviving the system.

Read more
Fri 7th Apr 2017

The Lauras by Sara Taylor

Book Review

“I didn’t realize my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of the car, and we left home and my dad with no explanation.”

Read more
Tue 4th Apr 2017

My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal

Book Review

Nine year old Leon adores his new baby brother, Jake. He loves looking after him and everything should be wonderful. But Leon’s mum is not coping well and as more and more responsibility falls on Leon’s young shoulders, things get out of hand.

Read more
Sat 26th Nov 2016

John Simpson

In conversation with Edinburgh Book Festival director, Nick Barley

Please join us on Saturday 26th November to celebrate Civilised Saturday with one of the world’s most respected journalists, BBC’s World Affairs editor,

Read more
Thu 27th Oct 2016

Sabastian Barry

Talking about his new novel, Days without End

Many of us at Mainstreet discovered the writing of Sebastian Barry with his extraordinary novel, The Secret Scripture, so it’s a huge pleasure to welcome him on Thurs 27th October to talk about his new novel, Days Without End.

Read more
Jeremy Paxman visits Mainstreet Trading for an author event to launch his new book, A Life in Question
Thu 20th Oct 2016

Jeremy Paxman

Discussing his autobiography,

A Life in Questions

We are delighted to announce that Jeremy Paxman will be at Mainstreet for his only Scottish event to launch A Life in Questions on Thurs 20th October.

Read more
Fri 14th Oct 2016

Days without End
by Sebastian Barry

Book Review

A huge in-house favourite and deserved winner of the overall Costa Book of the Year, Days Without End is a novel of love and war set in the American West. A novel that will make you wince with pain and gasp in awe in almost equal measure.

Read more
Thu 22nd Sep 2016

Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston

An evening of creative adventure and literary make-believe

We are very fortunate to be hosting an evening event during which these two talented artists will discuss their own flights of imagination and the process by which they then harness their ideas onto the page (we can barely contain our excitement!).

Read more
mainstreet-books-review- the-girls-emma-cline-fiction-novel-paperback-scottish-borders
Tue 2nd Aug 2016

The Girls by Emma Cline

Book Review

An edgy and disturbing book. Cline steps indie the skin of her teenage protagonist with an ease that makes for uncomfortable yet compulsive reading.

Read more
Thu 14th Apr 2016


Discussing her new novel, The Butcher’s Hook

Please join us at Mainstreet on Thurs 14th April to meet actress and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis who will be discussing her debut novel, The Butcher’s Hook with the Edinburgh Book Festival’s Roland Gulliver.

Read more
Fri 4th Dec 2015

Mainstreet featured in
House & Garden magazine

In the press

We are thrilled to say that Mainstreet is the Lifestyle feature of House & Garden in December 2015.  Here’s a taste of the story…

Read more
Thu 3rd Dec 2015

House & Garden – Lifestyle Feature

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Read more
Sat 14th Nov 2015

Nopi by Ottolenghi

Book Review

The new book in Ottolenghi’s oeuvre is a thing of beauty in itself, complete with glorious gold edges. Don’t be put off by its restaurant heritage, all the recipes have been rigorously tested, with head chef Scully teaching himself to become a home cook in the process.

Read more
Sat 10th Oct 2015

Books Are My Bag

                             BOOKS ARE MY BAG  
Last week, the Mainstreet Hare had a makeover…                                                                                                The book selling world has gone ORANGE! Saturday the 14th of September saw the launch of a very exciting new campaign, kicking off with a Big Bookshop Party in celebration of bookshops everywhere! The first 50 people through our doors got a BOOKS ARE MY BAG tote bag and a free publishers proof, plus our team was of course on hand to offer advice and booky recommendations! There was a fair amount of cake involved too…

Read more
Fri 9th Oct 2015

The Last Tour of Archie Forbes
by Victoria Hendry

Book Review

Step out of your reading comfort zone and pick up The Last Tour of Archie Forbes. It is a gem of a novel that will have you amused, horrified and scared – for all the right reasons. It may even make you a more sympathetic human being. I carried it with me, hoping for a spare moment to read but not wanting it to end too soon. This is Victoria’s Hendry’s second novel, I may just have to buy the first.

Read more
Sat 1st Aug 2015

A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara

Book Review

Set in mostly New York, this is ostensibly the story of friendship between four men from their days immediately post-college, through to their 50’s. But is so much more than that. The author, through her characters, redefines what family and friendship can be. Utterly compelling from page 1, I was absorbed to the exclusion of everything else while on holiday, and this is not a light book to carry to the beach… It packs serious emotional punch, full of pain and beauty, but astonishingly also flashes of brilliant humour.

Read more
Thu 30th Jul 2015

Mainstreet and Mons in France

And so with the guidance, knowledge and expert linguistic skills of Jon Thrupp, Director of MONS Cheese UK, Bill, Shaun and Phillippa left Mainstreet for the mountains…  We arrive in Geneva to meet Jon Thrupp and begin the drive over the Swiss-French border to Le Grand Bournand in the Alps. We meet Reblochon affineur Jean Pierre Missillier at his maturing rooms and spend some time tasting Reblochon with local wine which perfectly cuts through the richness of the cheese. Good start so far!

Read more
Sat 23rd May 2015

The London Coffee Festival 2015

A couple of weeks ago Bill, Shaun and Phillippa headed off to The London Coffee Festival  in search of information, inspiration, – and caffination! (As if we need extra encouragement to drink more coffee!) Here is a sneak peek at what we got up to…

Read more
Sun 26th Apr 2015

Mouse Mansion

Welcome to Mouse Mansion…  Over the past few weeks, Shaun and Phillippa have been secretly building a mansion in our HOME department. It has finally made its way into our windows, and the new inhabitants of Main Street St Boswells have a home!

Inspired by our current favourite picture book, ‘Mouse Mansion with Sam and Julia‘ by Karina Schaapman, our version is designed around the little Maileg Mice that we sell in our bookshop.

Dutch author and artist Karina Schaapman spent years building and furnishing the Mouse Mansion in which her collection of stories takes place. Each room depicted in this incredibly detailed book is inspired by stories from the artists childhood. The elaborate house is 6 feet wide, almost 10 feet tall and made from cardboard boxes and papier-mâché. Karina’s mansion contains more than one hundred rooms to explore – our version may be a little smaller, but we like to think of it as more of a Scottish Tenement…
See more below..

Read more
Wed 13th Aug 2014

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

Book Review

I read Go Set a Watchman on publication last year and, despite the controversy, thoroughly enjoyed hearing Scout’s voice again. On seeing that my daughter had finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird on holiday, I was delighted to scoop it up in her wake and immerse myself in the deep South once more.

Read more
Wed 6th Aug 2014

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

There are some books which, when you’re finished reading them, seem to pop into your mind for weeks (or years) afterwards. Set in three periods, just before, just after and twenty years on from a deadly flue that wiped out 99% of the world’s population. It is a remarkable book about memory, love, loss, faith and hope with that rarest of things – a satisfying ending. Our bookshelves are not short of post apocalyptic fiction, but this is something so much more – think Margaret Atwood, not Suzanne Collins.

Read more
Sun 28th Jul 2013

Music, Paella and a Pint – A Night with the Bookshop Band

@TheBookshopBand just had a customer in talking about last night – ‘I’m lost for words…’ (in a good way!).
— Mainstreet Trading (@mainstreethare) June 23, 2013

This tweet is the only way we could think to describe our evening with ‘The Bookshop Band‘! The supremely talented, (and equally charming) Somerset three piece, delighted our SOLD OUT audience with a whole library of bookish melodies and witty tales of bookshops past. All washed down with scrumptious Paella (made by Shaun and Vivian with game from Burnside Farm Foods, and seasonal local vegetables) and a pint or two of Foxy Blonde Ale from The Scottish Borders Brewery.

Read more
Fri 26th Jul 2013

Discover The Book Burrows

In the depths of our bookshop, under an arch, you may have spotted two secret doors…  One cold January morning, our team of in-house artists began working on a secret project. After some research, and lots of collecting, the idea for ‘The Book Burrow’ was formed. Based on an idea Rosamund had dreamt up in the early days of Mainstreet, we set out to convert two dusty cobwebbed cupboards under the stairs into listening dens, for children to experience the joy of audio books.


Read more
Thu 25th Jul 2013


This Summer The Mainstreet Trading Company turns 5!  In celebration we decided to create a blog to give you a little insight into daily life at Mainstreet.  In the 5 years since husband and wife team Rosamund and Bill de la Hey converted the former auction house into a beautiful bookshop and cafe, the shop has proudly received national awards, been host to some truly inspiring authors and more recently expanded to include a wonderfully eclectic new Deli and Home shop. Our community has grown with us, and for that we thank you!

Read more
Thu 4th Apr 2013

Mainstreet featured in Country Living, April 2013

In the Press

We were delighted to be featured in the April issue of Country Living as their Kitchen Table Talent.  Here’s a sample of the text …  The colourful window displays of The Mainstreet Trading Company in the Scottish Borders village of St Boswells are enough to lift the spirits on a dull day.  This morning, art graduate Phillippa is putting the finishing touches to her depiction of James and the Giant Peach, papering and painting a large exercise ball, crafting origami out of vintage-style giftwrap and hanging a cardboard flock of sky-blue birds.  As the scene takes shape, passers-by stop to admire it before being enticed inside by the aroma of Arabica coffee, and the promise of oven-fresh scones and cakes, which are served daily in the bookshop’s in-house cafe.  By lunchtime, loyal customers will be lining up to buy bowls of homemade soup, clutching and discussing their latest literary finds as they near the till, before relaxing at one of the many tables, tucked next to and among the bookcases, to catch up with friends.

Read more
Mon 4th Oct 2010

Mainstreet is featured in Waitrose Kitchen magazine, Oct 2010

In the Press

The nice people at Waitrose Kitchen have written an article about Mainstreet – complete with beautiful photos. Here’s an extract of the text…
…. At this family-run bookshop, the accounts are all in order, thanks to the magical combination of great reads and delicious feeds…. In 2003 [Bill and Ros de la Hey] moved to Scotland, Ros’s childhood home, from London, where Ros had worked for many years for publishers Bloomsbury; Bill was a photographer.

Read more

Humble By Nature

“I’ve spent a large part of my working life being upstaged by animals and although this book is ostensibly about the joys – and perils – of rescuing a farm, it is also a warning to anyone who loses their heart to a mongrel.  You will never be the centre of attention again.” – Kate Humble


Read more

From Mainstreet, to Market…

Once upon a sunny Monday, Bill and Shaun left sleepy St Boswells, and headed for the busy streets of London – in search of Jamón and Cheese…


Read more

Olia Hercules – Mamushka

Olia Hercules

We are feeling full of inspiration after a wonderful event with the beautiful Olia Hercules. Her debut cookbook Mamushka, published this month by Octopus, is brimming with delectable recipes and mouth watering photography. We were lucky enough to have Olia with us for her first cookery demo, she cooked Kurka Tabaka (Garlicky Georgian Poussin) for our hungry audience and we assure you – it was delicious!

More below!

Read more

Penguin Little Black Classics

To celebrate 80 years of publishing, Penguin have released the
Pocket size snippets from 80 classics, for 80p each!

Check out the website –

After scouring through the stacks, picking the ones we wanted for ourselves – we decided to continue the penguin party throughout the shop. Including a window display filled with books and coffee from another OCC (Ouseburn Coffee Company) whose coffee we sell in our DELI. We like to think coffee plays a big part in fueling classic literature! Click the link for more.

Read more

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowy Ivey

Eowyn Ivey, author of the much loved, Snow Child, again incorporates an element of mysticism into this engaging second novel.

Read more
Close Map