THE owner of an Alva bookshop has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people after raising more than £48,000 to buy the premises.

Ruth Galloway, who set up Guid Reads in Alva through crowdfunding last year, has just been through a whirlwind week after her landlord on Stirling Street announced he is looking to retire.

In an "off the cuff" idea, Ruth took to Twitter to see if people would be willing to invest money to enable Guid Reads to buy the premises and become owners.

Within seconds of her posting the idea on the internet, people started replying and asking where they could fund the venture.

Around 24 hours and re-tweets from various authors, publishers and other bookshops later, Ruth raised more than £40,000, with the fundraiser sitting at an incredible £48,049 this week.

Ruth, who recently moved to Tillicoultry but was born and bred in Alva, told the Advertiser: "Initially, I panicked – it's nothing personal against the landlord, I am really happy that he is retiring.

"It was more the fear of the unknown – who is going to own the shop? Are they going to put my rent up? What's going to happen?"

The bookshop owner was determined to find a smart way around her issue and initially posted on Twitter for advice, before the fundraiser blew up from there.

Ruth added: "I am completely overwhelmed and humbled by what happened last week; it still hasn't really sunk in, and we are now on Monday.

"'Thank you' are not big enough words for how we feel it at the moment. It's just absolutely incredible."

Ruth was initially looking to secure £40,000, but the valuation of the property has since taken place and a firm figure of £55,000 to take over the premises has been established.

She said: "We did have a wee upset with the valuation of the property; however, what the GoFundMe meant was that we were in a really strong place to negotiate.

"We are in a position this week that we can put an official offer in on the shop and between now and April we'll be able to raise the wee bit extra that we need."

In Guid Reads, Ruth always had a vision to create a space that is "more than just a bookshop".

"The books are just a cover for all the good we can do in the community", she told the Advertiser.

Indeed, Guid Reads recently helped a member of the community with moving to a new house; at Christmas the bookshop donated items to the elderly in the community, and Ruth is even sending books to countries ravaged by war.

Inside the shop, there is a community jigsaw and a sofa for people to relax on with a cuppa and have a chat – in a bid to boost people's mental health.

The shop has also been a base for volunteering, linked in with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Those looking to back Guid Reads can visit