Books: Lost in Fiction

Second-hand bookshop

In keeping with its literary reputation, Edinburgh is packed with lots of little second-hand bookshops, all piled floor-to-ceiling with musty old books. Anna Docherty leafs through her favourites.

Every self respecting traveller needs a book in their backpack and being seen flicking through a battered copy of Jane Ayre will make you way cooler than if you were reading a pristine edition of the latest Harry Potter novel. Don't worry if you accidentally drop your favourite old book in a puddle or have it blown out of your hand by a freak Scottish wind, because you can easily pick up a new read in one of Edinburgh's many quaint little second-hand bookshops.

These are the kinds of places that old books would choose to spend their retirement, rather than in some lifeless old library. Dotted around the city centre like little drops of gold, these ramshackle shops are like heaven for people who like nothing better than a good old rummage. It really is like digging in grubby earth for that lost-lost buried treasure. And if you're really lucky, you can also sometimes come across other little trinkets while you're there, like old stamps, vintage prints and archaic maps of Scotland (why not give one of them to the annoying travelling companion you'd quite like to literally 'get lost'). Plus, some of them also have a 'bargain bucket' - with stacks of books for as little as 50p. That's the cheap gifts for the relatives back home sorted then.

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