South Bridge, Edinburgh, and Books

It’s been ages since I had a mooch around a bookshop because there wasn’t any point in doing it due to the fact that I’m not supposed to be buying books until I whittle away at my unread book piles. But today, despite the horrible rain we just felt the need to get out of the house for a while and as I have loads of books that I really want to track down I thought – Edinburgh, Perth or St Andrews?

There’s flooding around the Perth area so we thought it best to give that a miss and as the weather forecast said that the rain was going to clear up in the afternoon around the Edinburgh area – we plumped for capital punishment!

The forecast was wrong and it rained all day plus it was very windy so we were buffeted going over the Forth Road Bridge – not nice. We decided to go to the South Bridge area for a change instead of our usual Stockbridge haunts. It wasn’t very successful, we must have been in about 7 book shops and charity shops and my haul was:

Behold, Here’s Poison – Georgette Heyer.
Duplicate Death – Georgette Heyer.
The Empty House – Rosamunde Pilcher.
Can You Forgive Her? – Anthony Trollope.

and my husband bought :
Ordinary Thunderstorms – William Boyd.

I’d been looking for Can You Forgive Her? because I wanted to read The Palliser series, and I thought that I’d better buy the Heyers in case I don’t see them again for ages. I really like Heyer’s detective novels because they’re very witty too, quite an unusual combination I think, and I’m on a Rosamunde Pilcher kick at the moment, this one is very short at only 182 pages, very unusual for her.

I was looking for books by Angela Thirkell, D.E. Stevenson, Janet Sandison, E.M. Delafield, Jane Duncan – all very retro but I haven’t read them before and much to my amazement they are being read now, I have to see what I’ve been missing!

Now that I’ve tried the shops and been unsuccessful I can order some on-line with an unblemished conscience because I always like to give my custom to small bookshops when I can. Plus it’s nice to have a poke around lots of books but none of the Edinburgh shops are anything like as good or crazy as Voltaire and Rousseau in Glasgow. It looks like you couldn’t possibly find anything you want amongst the piles, but I always do. Must get back there again soon.

After parking the car we had to walk past this hairdresser’s to get to the bookshops today. This place intrigues me because it’s such a throw-back to the 50s. It looks like nothing has ever been changed since then and I’ve never seen it open. What sort of hairdresser is closed on a Saturday afternoon? I know that you always think of Edinburgh for history and Glasgow for style, but I think they’ve taken this a bit far here. Who would use a place like this?

For all I know it might be a fantastic resource for the ladies of Edinburgh of a certain type. Stout tweed skirts, Fair-Isle jumpers and Lisle stockings. Not forgetting the blue rinses.

Anyone for a shampoo and set?!

4 thoughts on “South Bridge, Edinburgh, and Books

  1. Ah, there’s that awful Forth Road Bridge again! Thank goodness you didn’t get blown off it!

    I hadn’t read any Georgette Heyer for ages, so I recently Bought Envious Casca. It’s on one of my TBR stacks.

    That’s a very strange hairdressing shop. Maybe it’s a front for something else. You got my imagination started, wondering if you went in looking like a 21st century woman and came out looking like a 1950’s woman! Or if when you came out, it really was the 1950’s! A time machine!

    I’ll be starting The Claverings tomorrow. I’m glad to hear you’re not a speed reader either.

    • Joan,
      I think we were split up at birth because I had exactly the same thought and we’ve been speculating and having a laugh about what it could be a front for! I love your idea though. There must be a password involved!

      They are going to start building a new bridge soon, which is just as well because the cables on the old one are corroding!!! Very scary.

  2. I so enjoyed reading about your book treasure hunt. Very interesting, indeed. My mother is a devotee of D.E. Stevenson and is still pestering her local library to hunt up more old ones for her. They do indulge a retired librarian’s requests, because she’s always reading one she hasn’t read before!

    I want to say also that I enjoyed your Christmas and New Year’s holiday family posts very much.

    I think I need to go on a book hunt myself some Saturday soon!

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

    • Judith,
      I’ve been amazed at some of the authors who are being blogged about now, I think it must be the charm of another era. I only just discovered that D.E. Stevenson was a cousin of Robert Louis S. It’s good that the libraries didn’t just get rid of older books, it’s keeping your mother’s brain active anyway!

      I was glad to see you back at Lake Placid with Ken but I’m putting in a request for a photo of Maggie or even poor Sophie on Reader in the Wilderness! You’ll be back teaching soon, good luck for the new term!
      Katrina.

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