With many bookstores and charity bookshops around town, as well as a public library, St. Andrews is truly a book lover’s paradise. Each of the bookstores has their own special qualities, appealing to the bibliophile in their own unique way.
Waterstones is one of the UK most popular bookstores, situated right in the center of St. Andrews on Market Street. One of its highlights are the various book-related gifts they offer, from writer’s personal kits to beautiful tote bags inspired by famous novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. Who wouldn’t want an “I Love Darcy” tote bag, amirite? They also have a fabulous children section, and bestsellers are displayed at the front of the bookstore to catch your eye the minute you step through the door. The bookstore’s warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it one of the town’s top bookstores, and there’s nothing I like more than curling up in one of the large comfy armchairs with a good book :)
2. Topping and Company
St. Andrews’ newest bookstore, having opened in 2014, Topping and Company hosts many various events throughout the year that book lovers find irresistible, from celebrating the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Illustrated Edition in October, to participating in Carol Anne Duffy’s nation book tour Shore to Shore in July. The bookstore also boasts an enviable selection of poetry. A perfect place for aspiring poets and poetry lovers!
A family-owned business opened for more than 30 years, Bouquiniste is THE bookstore for a collector, offering amazing collectibles such as rare copies of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, as well as maps and travel guides from the 1800s. Used secondhand books are a staple of Bouquiniste, which also has an outstanding history section. Follow the wonderful smell of old books into this enchanting little bookstore.
4. Barnardo’s Bookshop
An amazing secondhand bookshop with a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction, from classic literature to travel books, one of the Barnardos’ best features is its cozy children’s section, where I spotted childhood favourites such as the entire Anne of the Green Gables series and The Secret Garden. Barnardos’s is also one of the best bookshops for students, with many secondhand copies of textbooks you need for your modules. I’ve spent many a rainy day there, and it’s one of my favourite places in town.
5. J & G Innes
An independent bookstore opened in 1927 right on the end of Church Street, J & G Innes is another one of the town’s family-run bookstores. J & G Innes caters to local authors, organizing readings in Zest Café as well as stocking copies of various local literary magazines. The store’s gift and arts section is another memorable feature, with various games and toys to complement your favourite novels, while you can also find unique Scottish books within their wide-ranging book collection to take home ☺
And of course, everyone knows the Blackwell’s in the Student Union, where students go to stock up on the books they need for class or just to browse before heading into Rector’s for a drink.
Enjoy, bibliophiles! :)