A St Andrews bookshop crawl

I went to St Andrews the other day. It’s so much easier to pop over from the new Bookwitch Towers, because despite Facebook’s best attempts at putting it in England it is still in Scotland.

Monopoly mug

With a bit over an hour before my ‘assignation,’ I walked round the town in the rain. Looked in on the newly refurbished Students’ Union HQ. Fashionable seats in the new café. Small but serviceable Blackwell’s, which is where I encountered this half price Monopoly mug. The question was, half price of what? Half of the Old Kent Road at £60 or half Fleet Street, £220?

Monopoly mug

Went and pressed my nose to the shop window of the future Toppings. I found out they are opening a shop in St Andrews back in March, but still no open Toppings. Empty, but looks good. There was a light on in the back, so presumably Mr Topping was at work building shelves.

Waterstones was next. I browsed all their non-book stuff. Somehow I occasionally lose the will to look at more books, especially if I’m not buying. And the notebooks and mugs and everything looked really nice. I may not be an author, but I have the right instincts when it comes to notebooks. Rested briefly in one of their armchairs, before anyone worked out I wasn’t spending money.

At the end of town is a rather nice second hand bookshop. The rain was pouring down – as I said – so at least I had my answer to the question what they do about the pavement display of books. Do they quickly carry all the books in? No, they have a made-to-measure tarpaulin arrangement, which fits neatly over the whole book display.

After that I just may have looked in the shoeshop. It was an accident. They wanted to relieve me of my umbrella, so I didn’t linger. Quick accidental pause at the kitchenware shop that sells lots of things you want, but don’t need.

I hurried on to the next bookshop, with their beautiful window display of Advent calendars. Decided not to enquire how much they wanted for the second hand copy of Winifred Holtby’s South Riding. Suspect I don’t have the time. They had a whole load of crime in one window, including many by the almost local James Oswald.

On to Oxfam. They are primarily a bookshop, so do belong to my bookshop crawl. Doesn’t mean they don’t have attractive bric-a-brac, though… Hovered outside, afterwards, as my one hour+ was over, and I almost succumbed to the cheese shop and their bread, before remembering that I can bake.

Then it was time for tea and cake with Daughter. For some obscure reason I shifted a sofa cushion and found a couple of books, but no money. They were English books, so have clearly been overlooked, lost and forgotten by the previous flat dwellers. Daughter’s shelves looked nice enough. Plenty of excellent YA books there (but then she has access to the best).

I never read on the train as it crosses the Tay. Just to be on the safe side. In my mind I waved goodbye to James Oswald and Fife (anything to avoid thinking of McGonagall), before getting off the train in one piece, and finding the next train, on which I do read, every time.

I’ll tell you about that book soon.

2 responses to “A St Andrews bookshop crawl

  1. I’ve been a year away from St Andrews now and this post has hit me hard with homesickness. I like the Waterstones there (good staff picks!) but Bill’s bookshop – the used one at the end of town – is the best. I could never leave empty handed. Glad you had a good time in my favorite town!

  2. Pingback: Topping & Company Booksellers | Bookwitch

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