O – The Old Town Bookshop – Edinburgh, Scotland

WELCOME to the letter O and to this year’s theme: BOOKSHOPS
8 Victoria Street, Edinburgh EH1 2HG, Scotland
+44 131 225 9237

I can close my eyes and walk once again down Princess Street in Edinburgh on my way to Laura Ashley to buy a plaid jumper and blouse (2T) for my first grandchild.  Then on to St. Mary’s Church where I found the painting I was looking for with a fascinating story. The painting is called The Presence. Later I was given a print copy of the painting, which hangs on a wall and means the world to me. If only I had turned in at The OLD TOWN BOOKSHOP,  booksellers of antiquarian maps, prints, Scottish material, and fine art monographs. The bookshop is situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town in a 16th-century medieval granary store originally used to supply Edinburgh Castle. Nearby is St. Giles’ Cathedral, Greyfriar’s Kirkyard and the castle itself, providing settings for some of Scotland’s best writers including R.L.S. Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott.

Edinburgh thinks of itself as the first city of literature. You know some of its famous writers, Robert Burns, Robert Lewis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle along with contemporary writers, JK Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith and Iain Rankin who sets his Inspector Rebus detective series in the city.

Start your bookshop tour in Edinburgh with The Old Town Bookshop who cater to the literary enthusiast and well-read tourist since 1978 with an eclectic range of books and art. On to Elvis Shakespeare where you will find selected literature and music. Local poets, authors or musicians are found debuting their work. Analogue Books on Candlemaker Row specializes in unique books of art and graphics and magazines on various themes. Armchair Books is a comfortable, worn-in bookshop lined from floor to ceiling with fiction and antiquarian books. World Power Bookshop probably isn’t my cup of tea but is known for its selection of left-wing, activist reading, but this is a good place to find local Scottish publishers.

You can join thousands of book lovers at the annual Edinburgh International Book Festival in this beautiful city and explore other unique, independent bookshops specializing in their owner’s interests. I will leave you with, Robert Burns who will have you putting the book world of Edinburgh on your travel/bookstore list.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in Ato Z Blog Challenge 2018 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to O – The Old Town Bookshop – Edinburgh, Scotland

  1. scr4pl80 says:

    I’m loving all these book shops! Good thing I don’t live near enough to visit or I’d be in serious trouble.

  2. Jenny says:

    It looks like a lovely bookshop–and city! I hope to visit someday.

    • In preparing for that ‘someday’ think of all the books you can read set in Edinburgh to get ready for that adventure. I hope you get there and hope you can visit more bookstores with me during April. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  3. So beautiful. Looks like a place where I could sit with a book and read for hours on end, or sit someplace and write. Reading the names of literary minded people there and looking at the inspiring beauty, more than deserving of its name: first city of literature.

  4. I ADORE this series of yours. Sorry I cannot comment each time, but I find these bookstores charming and inspiring.

    • The last time I participated I wrote about historic hotels and inns, which was equally as much fun to prepare as these bookstores. This theme has been ‘more better’ as one of my grandchildren used to say. Delighted you are keeping me company and enjoying the tour. Come back when you can.

  5. Fascinating. I wonder if other sticks-and-bricks bookstores are having the difficulties we are. There’s something about a bookstore that Amazon can’t accomplish.

    • I love Amazon and cheer them on as a great example of accomplishing the American dream, work hard, built a better mousetrap, but hoping that the independent bookstores find ways to compete. The stores I have written about have. Come back when you can.

  6. This was such a great A to Z of bookstores… I love these type rather than the Barnes & Noble new ones. If only I could wave my Harry Potter wand and visit!

  7. I’m making a mental note of this place. First, I am happy to lose myself in a good bookshop; second, this one is in a lovely part of town, which I want to revisit next time I’m there.

  8. I hope you get there. Think of me when you push open the door to enter saying, “Stepheny would love this.”

  9. I’m trying to remember if I’ve been in this bookstore before. I feel like I have been, but I can’t be certain. We used to live in Glasgow (tons of lovely used bookstores there), but would venture to Edinburgh from time to time.

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