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The Great British BookTrail – Toppings Bookstore

  • Submitted: 23rd July 2021

The BookTrail goes to Edinburgh

Lockdown has given me bookstore anxiety. I have missed bookstores like nothing else on earth. Correction: I have missed bookstores in Edinburgh the most. There is something about this city that makes me smile and which really increases the book hormones. Wandering and lingering in a bookstore is a joy unlike any other. So, when I got the chance to visit Edinburgh lately, I was there like a shot.

The Edinburgh tour

I visited as many stores as I could in the few days I had there. I used to live in this stunning city so I know it well, but this time I was guided purely by the bookshops new and old…..

There were second hand stores, shops with book ladders, books in the basement, books piled up to the ceiling…..and I met some very interesting characters along the way….

First on the list…….Toppings and Company! Situated beside the Edinburgh play house just off Princess Street, it’s like something out of an English country village…

The Great British BookTrail

Toppings! (c) The BookTrail

Baby blue on the outside…the railing with the author appearances written in chalk, the books in the window, the open door and all the books waiting there for me…

Hello friends….

The Great British BookTrail

Aah hello book friends! (c) The BookTrail

There were so many tables in this shop. Good to see so many covers facing out. Plenty of shelves too of course and tea pots! People were sitting on random tables eating and drinking like in an old fashioned tea shop. The classic building with its fancy large windows gives this shop a real ornate feel. Classical music was playing and it felt like a little haven on earth.

The Great British BookTrail - Toppings Bookstore

Windows! (c) The BookTrail

So many book friends to get to know. I spent hours here just browsing and wondering what I was going to pick out. I was treating myself to a book and a tote bag….

Although I was alone, I suddenly felt a pair of eyes on me and lo and behold…..the King of Edinburgh crime was right there:

Read the booktrails of Ian Rankin here

The Great British BookTrail

Human friends too (c) The BookTrail

This store has so many nooks and crannies. There’s a big room for fiction, another one for crime and mystery and one for children’s books. On the landing at the top of the stairs, there’s all the first edition carefully wrapped in see-through covers.

This had a lovely aroma. It felt very special – so many books wrapped up, on shelves as high as the eyes could see. Not only books, but look – a working grandfather clock to give the quiet haven that little extra slice of atmosphere…………..

The Great British BookTrail - Toppings Bookstore

Doors and first editions (c)The BookTrail

Oh I wish I could have bought one of these signed first editions! I tried to get myself locked in after hours but they weren’t having any of it 😉

My top spot in Toppings:

The Great British BookTrail

Tables and stools and book ladders (c) The BookTrail

This was the room I wanted to live in. It was so warm and welcoming with books as far as the eye can see. I spent a good few hours in this room alone choosing my read.

I eventually picked out The Appeal by Janice Hallett but I couldn’t see it despite the huge choice. A man had to come and climb up the book ladder and pick it from the back of the top shelf. It had sold out on the floor so he brought down some more. Made me chuckle that the novel that claims to test the reader to solve a mystery was the very one I had trouble tracking down! Haha was that going to be a sign I asked myself…

I left with the book and a tote bag with Toppings and Company written on the side. My first and certainly not last visit to Toppings had been a huge success.

Miss you already Toppings!




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