A NEW chapter is about to begin for a Cardigan bookshop after its new owner won it in a raffle.

Dutchman Ceisjan van Heerden – known as CJ - is to take over Bookends with an Icelandic friend after his name was pulled out of the hat.

Current owners, husband and wife Paul and Leila Morris, are saying goodbye to Bookends at the Arcade, High Street, after four years and rather than close the business decided to raffle it off to one lucky winner.

People who spent £20 on books were eligible to enter and 60 names went into the hat on the big day, with a sizeable crowd gathering to see if they had struck lucky.

And it was 30-year-old CJ's name on ticket number 33 that was drawn to the tune of ‘Winner takes it all’ by Abba playing in the background.

CJ, a regular customer at the shop, was not able to make it on the day but learned of his good fortune through a text message.

He said: "I am originally from Holland but now living near Lammas.

"I love books and read a lot and just happened to be in the shop when a TV crew was here filming about Paul's decision to raffle it off and I bought a ticket.

"I was so shocked when I heard I had won. It's surreal and I had a coffee and a sit down to take it all in.”

CJ, who farm-sits for people, intends to run the shop with friend Svaen Bjorn from Iceland, who will be giving up his job in customer service to move to West Wales.

The pair have been friends through the internet for the past eight or nine years - but have never actually met face-to-face.

“It might sound strange but we are sure we can make it work and it is just an amazing opportunity,” added CJ.

Paul said: "We had a really good response raffling off the business and people have come in to the shop to compliment us for what we are doing.

“There has been no negative feedback and hopefully this will give someone a chance to establish themselves and the shop will thrive and be here for many years to come.

“People had so many different reasons for wanting to take it on - from not having a job to wanting to do something completely different or wanting it for a grandson.

“It’s just so nice to be able to give something back to the community.”

The shop will be formally handed over to the new owners on November 5.