“All the reading she had done gave her a view of life they had never seen” – Mathilda, Roald Dahl
I’ve always loved books, ever since I was little I’ve been an avid reader of nearly everything I could get my hands on so it’s not surprising really that one of my favourite things to do is spend a lazy afternoon trawling the local book shops. If you haven’t realised yet I have a bit of a love affair with St Andrews and when I am up in Scotland staying with my boyfriends family I tend to go into St Andrews as much as possible and over the last few visit I have managed to find some amazing places to shop for books so I thought I would share a few of my favourites.
Bouquiniste – This little second hand book shop is a bit hidden and I didn’t find it for a while until I accidentally stumbled across it on my way down to the harbour. I love second hand books possibly even more than new books, I like the way the spines have been broken and they feel soft in your hand making them easier to read and I love being able to get amazing books for only a pound or two. This little book shop stocks everything from travel to classical fiction to theology so its a great place to go and lose yourself for a while in search of one (or six in my case) new books to add to your collection.
Barnardo’s Books – Another great second hand book shop, this time all the proceeds go to charity which makes me feel a lot better about the amount of money I have spent in here already. This book shop also has a great selection of fiction, non fiction, children’s books and a nice big classics section where I have picked up even more cute copies of Dickens and Austen.
British Heart Foundation – This one doesn’t have a huge collection of books as it also sells a lot of other bits and bobs like a normal charity shop but their collection still covered nearly the whole back wall. I’ve also found some really great books in here and like with Barnardo’s all the money goes to a great cause. It is also only just down the road from Barnardo’s which means you can have a good old book shop crawl.
Topping and Company Books – And just a little bit further down the road from the other two you will find Topping and Company Books another fabulous addition to any book crawl. This book shop has only just recently opened but boy is it worth a trip. When I was little I always wanted to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast (read as still want to be Belle now) and my dream was to have a library in my house just as amazing as in the film. As I first walked into Topping and Company I had a full Belle moment and decided I wanted to move in right away. Every wall and available counter space is covered in books of all different shapes and sizes, there’s a fantastic mix of everything you could ever want with beautiful little ladders on wheels to help you find the books you want that are at the top of the book cases. The shop wiggles round into a cavern of little spaces full of different genres such as cooking, health, art, nature and so much more. There are also lots of super comfy squishy sofa’s to sit on and have a good old look at the books you’ve picked up on your way round and if you sit for a while the lovely staff will offer you a cup of tea or coffee for free. I have been in a few times now and every time it is like a dream, I just love it!
I hope you enjoyed the little insight into the book shops of St Andrews. I know having these fantastic book shops just down the road every holiday will not help my book addiction but as I keep saying to my boyfriend if I want to have a library room in my future house than I need to carry on collecting books!
I hope you are all having good summers, let me know in the comments what you are reading at the moment.
Bye for now!