Walk of Books

Do you like books exhuding the musk of bygone times, or do you prefer the crisp scent of newly printed ones? Perhaps you’re not interested in books at all, but in the more illustrative alternative called comics? No matter what your answer might be, the UNESCO City of Literature offers something for everyone. Start down […]

Do you like books exhuding the musk of bygone times, or do you prefer the crisp scent of newly printed ones? Perhaps you’re not interested in books at all, but in the more illustrative alternative called comics? No matter what your answer might be, the UNESCO City of Literature offers something for everyone. Start down Victoria Street, opposite the National Library, where you will discover The Old Town Bookshop. This tiny shop is crammed with second hand books, prints, and maps, and we even discovered an old postcard showing Provence in France. If you are itching to buy a book, feel free to ask the bookseller, who will be delighted to help you find the right one.

 

Maybe you are more into fantasy literature or comics? No problem. Follow Victoria Street down to Grassmarket and then turn left into Candlemaker Row. On the left side, you will reach Deadhead Comics, a shabby place at first glance, but looking through the range of comics they offer, you will find it a good place to sit down on the cosy red sofa and listen to good metal, while deciding what to buy. Opposite from this comic shop, stuffed animals arranged around fantasy books invite you to have a look inside Transreal Fiction. This bookshop is a must for all fantasy fans as it has nearly everything, from The Hobbit by Tolkien to Scottish ghost stories.

 

Still nothing amongst all this that suits you? Then you should make your way back and walk across Grassmarket to reach West Port. There you will find several second hand bookshops, such as Armchair Books. And no, you didn’t have one too many whiskies at one of the pubs in the Grassmarket. There are actually two separate doors into two separate buildings, which mean plenty of room for thousands of books on shelves reaching up to the ceiling. For book lovers, this is like heaven. While the air is filled with the unique perfume only old books possess, you are surrounded by beautifully ornamental editions.

 

Of course, those are not cheap, but just looking at them is worth the time. And beneath the special editions, you will find a huge range of books under £5. Phew! Strolling through all those shops can be quite exhausting. So, if you feel like having a cup of coffee, but don’t want to miss the bookshelves around you, stop at Pulp Fiction. The bookshop is located a short walk further up the street on the right side. There they offer coffee, cakes, baguettes, and also the chance to sit down.

 

If you planned to do a shopping tour that day up on Princes Street, and don’t want to go all the way down to Grassmarket, you can still shop for books. Why not visit Waterstone’s, Edinburgh’s largest bookshop? Here, old meets new: You will find the newest bestsellers arranged within an ancient-looking interior. The building is a real labyrinth, big but comfortable, like the library of an old mansion. Dark staircases connect four large floors waiting for you to explore them. And after an exhausting day of shopping, you might also have a cup of fair-trade organic coffee and a piece of cake up on the second floor, enjoying a good view of the Castle.

 

Curso/CTR Travel Writing Team Edinburgh, Caroline Betz
“It’s a beautiful building and we have a wide range of choices.” (shop assistant at Waterstone’s)

 

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