THE former library in Old Town is bustling with activity again, thanks to the opening of a new shop.

The building in Victoria Road is now the home of Pen & Paper and owner Ruth Manser is looking forward to welcoming customers.

Former accountant Ruth, 44, of Liden, has moved from The Arcade in nearby Wood Street and is confident the new location will be more appealing for shoppers.

She said: “I know there is a recession on and these are difficult times, but I am confident and I am pleased with how well the first day has gone.

“I have had lots of people coming in and looking around – but not only that, they are spending money too.

“Working in an office is rather oppressive and and I think you get to mid-life and you want to do your own thing.

“I am in a position to do it and I am looking forward to it.”

The shop is also selling a range of books, as well as iconic brands including Moleskine, Liberty and Cath Kidston, plus retro notebooks, colourful Indian sari journals and a selection of pens.

Ruth said: “We are selling books as cheap as the cheapest website so I am very hopeful.

“It is going to be hard work, it already has been hard work.

“I am running the shop myself and I have one person who comes in occasionally to hold the fort so I can take a bit of a rest.

“I love stationery. I travel around the country to find a good journal and I thought why not bring that to Old Town? I was born in Old Town and I used to live here so I have done a full circle and it seemed right to come back here.

“You have to believe in your product and it is my love – we are selling premium products, the type of thing you would find in Bath or Cirencester.”

Musician Rachael Birkin will be performing at the shop on Saturday to welcome new customers and there are plans to host reading groups, storytime sessions, journal workshops and Festival of Literature events.

For more information, call the shop on 01793 421641.

The library closed last year as part of council cutbacks and is now based at the Arts Centre in Devizes Road