Inspiring Older Readers
Edinburgh Books, Edinburgh
Another superb, quirky bookshop that can be found in West Port, the traditional location for Edinburgh booksellers. The shop’s website notes that it has had quite a troubled recent past when it was known as West Port Books and almost closed in 2006. All I can say is, thank goodness it didn’t.
This is a shop that will delight real book collectors, casual browsers and anyone who likes their bookshops to have that traditional mapcap feel. I headed straight for the back room where the modern and classic literature is kept and found a really great selection of stuff – you’ll need to make use of the ladders they provide though because the ceilings are high and the shelves go right up to the top.
We also always have a look for the children’s section and this is the one area we found a bit disappointing. The stock selection was a bit hit and miss and there simply wasn’t enough of it. Clearly this isn’t an area they give much priority to because it was also stuffed down in some lower shelves and quite difficult to access because of boxes and chairs that blocked the way. There is, however, a better and more accessible section specialising in larger illustrated books – many of which are children’s classics – which has a few real gems in.
Overall the studenty, rather Bohemian ramshackleness of the shop wins you over despite its minor shortcomings and I felt that if I lived in Edinburgh it was a place I’d happily spend hours in. I should say that the prices aren’t cheap – but then again why should they be? I think the really collectible stuff is realistically priced and in a shop this size they have to be sensible - rents and overheads must be substantial.
The shop is only a few doors away from Armchair Books which is also reviewed on this site and having two great shops in such close proximity is a treat.