The BookshopThe Bookshop – Discover Scotland's largest secondhand bookshop

The Bookshop used to be the only bookstore in town before "Book Town" status changed everything. Now owned by Shaun Bythell, it is Scotland's largest used bookstore with around 80,000 books. "I bought the place in 2001," said Shaun, who grew up in Wigtown and had worked in gas pipeline construction and also as a documentary maker. "I returned to visit my parents and went into the bookshop as I always did and started talking to the owner about what I wanted to do. He said: ‘why don't you buy the store?'"

Menavaur BooksMenavaur Books – Rare books about island life

"We specialize in books about islands," said Carolle Oram, who runs Menavaur Books along with husband Paul. "We also offer books about natural history and maritime, but islands are what we are best known for. There are two sorts of customer who buys books about islands – either they are a visitor to an island or they are an arm-chair visitor."

ReadingLasses Bookshop CaféReadingLasses Bookshop Café – Coffee, cake and feminist theory

Specializing in women's studies and social sciences, the ReadingLasses Bookshop Café was the first used book business to arrive in Wigtown after it was declared a book town. It opened in December 1997 as purely a bookstore but owner Angela Everitt, a former college lecturer, added the café three years later. "Our customers vary greatly," she said. "We carry plenty about feminist theory but also arts and crafts – not everything is serious."

ME McCarty BooksellerME McCarty Bookseller – Meet one of Wigtown's most experienced booksellers

Moira McCarty is one of the most experienced booksellers in Wigtown. "I have been selling books for over 30 years and owned a shop for about 26 years," she said. "I became very interested in book towns several years ago after seeing what Hay-on-Wye had achieved. I like being part of a community where people do things together."

Web BooksWeb Books – From beer to books

Web Books is run by Jim and Anne Vogler – who used to run a pub and have now embraced bookselling and called Wigtown their home since 2001. "We started selling books when we used to run a pub in England back in 1988," said Anne. "There was a large building attached to the pub and it wasn't being used. We tidied it up and started selling books."

Byre Books – Movie stars, folklore and Scottish books

Specializing in used books about stage and screen, folklore and Scotland, Byre Books is located in a converted barn. It is run by the mother-and-daughter team of Laura and Shani Mustian. Laura took early retirement from teaching while her daughter tired of life in a bank's security department. "We love books and being in Wigtown allows us to enjoy life in the country and have a wonderful time," said Laura. "I left Glasgow to come here and Shani came from Wales."

GC BooksGC Books – Looking for a warehouse jammed with theology and history books?

Recently taken over by new owners in May 2005, GC Books boasts a long heritage and has been around for two decades. The building, packed with books, is a disused creamery. "We have two main specialties – history and theology," said Naureen Paterson, who is employed by owner Beverley Chadband

Transformer - Science Fiction and more

Carol Weaver's Transformer business offers the largest used selection of science fiction books in Scotland as well as many academic books, especially in physics and mathematics. "I was already living in Wigtown when it became a book town. I thought it was a good opportunity and decided to become a bookseller," said the former mathematics teacher. "I have 100,000 books and place them in the shop on a rotating basis."

Ming BooksMing Books – Mystery and suspense

A seller through AbeBooks since 1998, Ming Books offers a huge selection of mystery titles in a Georgian building with three floors of books. Marion and Robin Richmond have been bookselling for 23 years and came to Wigtown eight years ago after deciding to move their business from London to Scotland.