Hello friends! Past Friday was my birthday and we took a little trip to beautiful Edinburgh with my husband using it as an excuse 🙂 You seemed to like my last post where I visited Winchester and made a post about the book shops there, so I thought why not do it again. (Here is my last post, if you haven’t seen that.)
Edinburgh is definitely a famous tourist spot, and the heatwave makes it even more attractive as it’s not so usual to have this shiny weather up in the north. Not to mention its beautiful landscape and rich culture, it’s also an important literary city. Actually there’s a literary festival soon in August with lots of writers visiting, and I’d love to go again if I can. Here is the map to see where it’s located. It’s a 4.5 hours train ride from London, but you can also take a plane that will last only around 1 hour.
First a couple of pictures from the beautiful city and historic castle.
I’d advise you to visit the castle around the morning hours because there’s a cannon shot done at 1pm every day, and it’s a nice spectacle to see. Just a hint, because we didn’t know and by coincidence were there to experience it. The firing of the One o’clock Gun dates back to 1861 when it allowed ships in the Firth of Forth to set the maritime clocks they needed to navigate the world’s oceans.
Enough of the history, and now let’s visit the book shops 🙂 I need to tell you that there are LOTS of book shops in Edinburgh. It’s impossible to visit all of them in one go, but these are the ones I visited in the day.
Another useful information is, the majority of book shops were located one after another in one road. So, if you find one of these, you can visit the others easily.
Armchair Books was the first one I visited. There’s Peter Bell Book Shop next to this one, but it was only open from 2.30-6 pm, so I missed that one. Armchair Books is a big second hand book shop, full of first editions, collectables, rare books, nice editions. It’s not a charity book shop, so prices are not so cheap, but cheaper than retail of course. I could say around a bit less than half price.
This is how it looks inside. Lots and lots of books 🙂
Another one was Antiques & Curious Bookshop, just across the road. They actually sell antiques, little bibs and bobs all damped in the store. They have a basement that is dedicated to books. It was smelling like a visit to the past! Too sharp for me, so I couldn’t stay a lot. The selection is not too wide, but it’s worth a look, as it’s an interesting shop overall.
Next to that, there’s Edinburgh Books, another second hand book shop. I quite liked the selection. Especially the special editions like Folio Society books were in quite good condition. But, probably this was the most pricey store. So, I came out empty handed.
Just when I thought this was all, I turned round the corner, and ran into Main Point Books, another second hand book store.I loved this store. they had really nice Folio Society editions, classics and very good hard backs. To be honest, it was not looking so promising from outside. But, you never know 🙂 I thought prices were also reasonable, so I got some books here.
Another note for Edinburgh is there are book tours in hidden passages. So, maybe it’s a good idea to search for them before you visit, if you don’t want to miss. This is another store I ran into. It was selling books that were about Scottish tales only. And probably, they are also doing theatrical storytelling sessions. I couldn’t explore more, as the time was late, but putting it out there for you to know.
Blackwell’s is a book chain in a few cities in UK, and one was in Edinburgh, so I visited of course. They sell new books, signed copies, and they have lots of events and writer meetings. At the time I visited, they had a promotion for Oxford World Classics, buy 1 get 1 free, which is quite a good deal, just so you know 😉
Good thing is, on the road where Blackwell’s is located, there are all the other charity shops one after another. These are in a separate part of the city than the second hand book shops. Oxfam Book Shop, Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation, and many more. Don’t forget to visit them as there’s always a lucky find hidden among the abandoned books 🙂
Here are my lucky finds of the day from second hand book shops and charity shops:
These are all first edition hard covers. I already read 1Q84. I really liked it, so I bought these editions for my library. Sally Rooney‘s new book Normal People is on the Man Booker long list. So, I got her debut that she released last year.
The Leopard is an old Folio Society Edition, and I love collecting those. So, I couldn’t resist one, when it was inexpensive. Mr. Peacock’s Possessions is a new release that I kept my eye on because of its beautiful cover (yes, I confess, cover buy!), and when it’s 1 pound, the result is inevitable.
There’s one last book shop I stumbled upon, as it was close to our hotel is Fopp. It’s a chain that sells Music and Books. There are also a couple shops in London. I drop by from time to time to check out what they have, because they sell new books with very good promotions. It’s always Buy 2 for 5 pounds. There are a lot of classics, sometimes good hardcovers, and new releases. Depends on your luck, really 🙂 This time I bought this pair:
This was all I could fit in a day spent in Edinburgh! I hope you enjoyed it, and it’s useful for the time you visit. I would love to hear from you what other gems you know there for my next visit too as I’m sure this won’t be the last 🙂
Thanks a lot for stopping by and happy reading!