A Stewarton book shop owner admits she is "over the moon" to be crowned the best in Scotland.

The Book Nook, in the town's High Street, was honoured as Independent Bookshop of the Year for Scotland at The British Book Awards.

Owner Sarah Frame admits she was shocked to win, after being shortlisted for the same award twice before. 

She said: "I was shortlisted in 2021 and 2022, and I was thrilled to be shortlisted before, but I wasn't planning to enter again this year.

"However, I did enter and thankfully I did. I got the email and I honestly couldn't believe it, I was absolutely ecstatic and over the moon. 

"It means so much. It's a hard slog having any business in the high street. The cost of living crisis has impacted everything."

Sarah runs a packed calendar of events, author signings and book clubs, which she believes helps keep the community supporting her business. 

She explained: "I wanted the Book Nook to be somewhere the community wanted to support, so all the events are free to attend. 

"It's not costing them anything, they get a free drink, and listening to something and interesting to open their horizons.

Irvine Times:

"I've got book clubs for all ages, author visits and plenty of other stuff - so there's always something to suit everyone."

Sarah believes that the personal touch she offers can make up for the cheaper prices at supermarkets and online. 

She said: "The core base of customers know they can get books cheaper in supermarkets, but they won't get the events, or come in and have a coffee, or let their kids play. 

"I love recommending books to people as well. That's my favourite thing about the job. I read all the reviews and can tell people what will suit them. 

"People really value that, they can come in and go away feeling confident they or someone else is going to like."

Sarah will now head to London for the finals of The British Book Awards on May 13, and will be flying the flag for Scotland. 

She added: "I'm really excited to be representing Scotland. This is a relatively small bookshop in a little town, so I'm thrilled to win the national award."