I am often asked on Instagram for recommendations about what to do in Edinburgh. My favourite cafes, walks, pretty view points, things to do… you get the idea! Almost always, I will include a bookshop in my reply. Why? Because book make my world go round, and the first thing I do when planning a visit to a new city is Google local bookshops. I’m not alone in that, right… Fortunately for me, Edinburgh is home to several beautiful bookshops, so I thought I’d do a little series of blog posts about some of my favourites. Starting with the glorious Golden Hare Books.
“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.” – Jen Campbell
Golden Hare Books can be found on St Stephen Street, an impossibly cute street in Stockbridge which is home to an array of quirky, independent shops and boutiques – including a chandelier shop, and another which is filled to the brim with antique lamps. It really does cater for everything! Stockbridge is one of my favourite Edinburgh haunts, and an excellent place to while away an afternoon, but more on that in a future post.
Back to books. Golden Hare is a haven for bookworms. It’s layout is designed to showcase books to maximum effect with as many covers facing out as possible – and it certainly works. It’s one of those shops where you walk in and can’t help but make a little ‘ooo’ noise. Again, hopefully this isn’t just me!
The shop is staffed by friendly, knowledgable booksellers – who are more than happy to chat away and make recommendations. Lining the shelves are tiny, handwritten cards with helpful descriptions – and you can even partake in a blind book date should the mood take you. Their selection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry (and beyond) would satisfy even the pickiest bookworm and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, they’ll happily order it in for you.
Shopping for books in Golden Hare is a particularly cosy, comforting experience. It’s warm and bright, and there are comfy chairs tucked away in little reading nooks. Tucked away at the back is one of the cutest children’s sections you’ve ever seen, full of amazing, inspiring books for young readers. It’s the sort of place I would have had to have been dragged away from as a child. Although. who am I kidding, I had to be dragged away this time too! It’s one of those places where an hour could pass in the blink of an eye, and I’d still be there with a stack of books in hand, trying to decide which to take home.
Golden Hare Books: What I bought
Displaying some rather impressive self-control, I left clutching a beautiful hardback edition of Katherine Arden’s The Girl in the Tower, which is without a doubt one of my new favourites. If you’re looking for a lovely read to see you through the rest of the (seemingly never-ending!) winter, pick up a copy of The Girl and the Nightingale, which is the first in the series. I can’t tell you how much I loved it!
PS. Want to know the best thing about Golden Hare Books? It’s dog-friendly. Yep, that’s right. Dogs and books. It’s practically a dream world.