One of my favourite things about my Publishing degree is being surrounded by like-minded people. It has been so wonderful to make friends with people that will likely become colleagues in the future. My friends and I decided that we would do a bookshop “crawl” of the city for ♯NationalBookshopDay. Now, being the disorganized bunch we are; we headed off into the city without any research or much planning at all. In my opinion, the way some of the best days happen.
When we first arrived; I searched “bookshop” on Google maps to find the nearest shops to visit. In an uncharacteristic move for me, I took charge of route planning and led my group to a closed bookshop. Feeling defeat we took shelter in the safety of Edinburgh’s Waterstones. We did feel, however, that after so much discussion both in and out of class, on the importance of supporting independent bookshops that we would not buy anything at Waterstones and thus we moved on to the tour.
Lighthouse bookshop was the place of our first purchase and I think I speak for the three of us when I say that it became an instant favourite. I spoke to the bookseller as I made my purchase and he informed me that one of the novels I had picked up was a signed copy as the author had recently moved to the city herself. I am so excited to read Laia Jufresa’s Umami as anyone who knows me well will know that it falls right into my favourite literature category. I absolutely love reading literature set in countries I have never been and learn about cultures I haven’t yet experienced. Umami caught my attention with a beautiful spine on the Lighthouse Books’ shelves and it’s setting in Mexico City.
We then walked to armchair books where we met a friend and ran into other Publishing Postgrad students all chatting about National Bookshop Day purchases and enthusing over the atmosphere of Armchair Books. I loved the wall to wall, over spilling of books everywhere and the impossibility of uncovering every available title for sale. Conveniently, Armchair Books is located next to another bookshop, which is where our group explored next. Peter Bell Books is, in my mind, a perfect place to buy gifts. In my case, I gifted myself a copy of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus just in time for the RSC’s showing of the play broadcast to cinemas only a week later. Whilst in this bookshop I found countless books about the history of Glasgow and Edinburgh; these would make perfect gifts for my grandma and mum, as they are interested in family history.
We finished our bookshop crawl at a used bookstall at the Grassmarket near to where we would catch our bus to take us home after a successful day. I hope this becomes a tradition every ♯NationalBookshopDay in the future. Despite the numerous closed bookshops and our geographically challenged failings at finding some others, we had a wonderful day, even if our bank-balances did not enjoy it as much as we did.