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Honeymoon Bookstore Haul + Bookstore Review

Because we all knew I was going to buy books on my Honeymoon right? This isn’t a surprise to anyone? Because it shouldn’t be. I have a problem. Also who could pass up used bookstores in the UK?! It cannot be just me.

I had a few bookstores I knew I had to visit. Funny story about how I decided to find them. My dad send me a website which features bookstores all over the world. Before that, I actually had never thought about looking for specific ones. I was looking into bookstores in Inverness and Aberdeen. Aberdeen ended up being too far from our original plans. (I did really consider changing them to go, but then I was reminded this was a Honeymoon, not a book trip). So we did manage to go to the one in Inverness, but it ended up being more antique books. It was called Leakey’s Second Hand Bookshop. I didn’t end up finding anything. BUT, long story here, this prompted me to look for other used bookshops.

To which I found, Armchair Books and Transreal Fiction in Edinburgh and my friend, Lousie from Foxes and Fairytale recommended me Topping and Company in St.Andrews. SO, without further ado, let’s get into the Haul.

An Ember in the Ashes, Utopianism, Timekeeper1st Stop: Topping and Company (St.Andrews)

This bookstore was absolutely lovely. It made excellent use of its space and had a homey feel. It had a wonderful selection of books. The staff were extremely nice. Some notes:

  1. It had dust jackets on the hardcovers so they wouldn’t get damaged!
  2. Science Fiction/Fantasy near the door made for an easy beeline. This section was also so crowded! Let’s here it for my other SF/F Fans
  3. The had the bookstore ladders. You know the ones from Beauty and the Beast? The ones on wheels so you could get really high. Made my heart melt.
  4. My partner pointed out, after we left, that they had a blind date with a book section. You were able to read a little heart with an excerpt on it, take it to the cash register, and they’d package it for you. I absolutely love this idea. Sad I didn’t see it though 🙁

I bought: An Ember in the Ashes(have heard numerous things about this book), Timekeeper(the cover, hands down, also steampunk), and A Very Short Introduction to Utopianism (mostly because I did a lot of research on this for my thesis, and my blog name, you know).

For a cozy bookstore this would get all the stars from me.

Acorna, Acorna's Quest, The Goldfinch, The Satanic Verses, the Indispensible Calvin and Hobbes2nd Stop: Armchair Books (Edinburgh)

This bookstore was, by far, the hit of the trip. First off, USED BOOKS. I need not say more. Secondly, my Partner actually found a book too! It figures since we spent over an hour in there and there’s a limit to boredom isn’t there? This store was stuffed full of magical beautiful used book gems. I saw some gorgeous Atwood covers, which were so tempting, and they have many of the same book, if you want different covers (I did). Additionally, the staff was friendly and extremely knowledgeable. They also sell bags with their logo, a dinossaur on them, that are reusable. I was told I could not buy one. Apparently in my house we have enough bags. (I beg to differ, what is even enough bags?)

There’s nothing more dangerous than a bookshop, and this one was at the top of the list. All the danger. If you only knew the havoc I would release to my bookshelf if I lived here.

I bought: Acorna, Acorna’s Quest (these two books are subtitled, The Unicorn Girl, need I say more?, The Satanic Verses (because I need to read all the Rushdie), The Goldfinch(heard a lot about this), Babel-17 (I did so much secondary research on Delaney that I have to read something by him), and The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes (can you believe I have never read any of these? My partner was appalled). It was such a steal, less than forty pounds?! Absolute goldmine.

Uprooted, The Book of Betta, The House of Shattered Wings, Intrusion3rd Stop: Transreal Fiction (Edinburgh)

A whole entire store devoted to Science Fiction and Fantasy books? It sounds like my dream store. It was.

The stock here is absolutely fantastic with so many great books. There’s also a bargain shelf, didn’t find anything, but if you do it’s a great deal.

I bought Uprooted (because the hype), The Book of Etta (because it looked great and I actually own the Book of the Unnamed Midwife that I haven’t read), The House of Shattered Wings (because of the cover and her contribution in The Starlit Wood was fantastic), and Intrusion (which my partner thought I would like and is signed).

The Other Half of Happiness, Our Endless Numbered Days4th Stop: WH Smith (Edinburgh Airport)

I cannot resist a deal. When I was walking by this store, while we were one hour early, I saw a sign that said buy one get one half off. That’s enough for me. So I thought, why not just look and see if you find anything you like. Of course I would. That was a silly question to ask myself.

So I found myself The Other Half of Happiness (Since I wanted to request this on Netgalley and then never got my life together), and Our Endless Numbered Days (I recognized this author from a different book I was never approved for). All of this just shows publishers, if you don’t approve me, I may not still buy that book, BUT I am more likely to buy a different book by then. You got me. I have no willpower.

Read Rating

All of these book purchases prompted my partner to ask me how many of the books I already own do I read. Here’s how that conversation went down.

Partner: Do you think you’re buying a bit too many books?

M: Do you think the other bookstore in the airport would have a deal on books?

P: How many of the books you got for your birthday did you read?

M: At least 1, but between 3-5, but no more than 5.

P: Don’t you think that’s low considering you got over 15?

M: How would we define low?

P: You should make a read percentage, kind of like Netgalley, so you know how many books you have read. And then you don’t buy anymore until you have over 90%

M: Are you joking?

P: What do you think you have now?

M: More than 1%, but not more than 10%, but definitely less than 50%

P: I’d like to see that number.

M: You’re saying I can’t buy more books?


M: You don’t love me and accept me. It’s a problem, I’m trying to stop. I wanted to buy 3 more but I have willpower *at this point crying while walking to our gate*

P:…I love you…

M: Love me

P: Why don’t we treat the read rating as a theoretical experiment?

M: So what you’re saying is I can still keep getting books?


What’s the last book you bought?

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4 thoughts on “Honeymoon Bookstore Haul + Bookstore Review

  1. Love this post! Don’t worry, I turn literally every outing into a book trip haha 🙂 Also, BOOK LADDERS!!! I’ve always wanted to ride one of those things around!
    That’s really cool that you wrote about Utopianism for your thesis… I would love to hear more about it!!

    1. Thanks! It ended up only being a little bit of the thesis, but I wrote it about Cyborgs in SF novels, gender performance, and the search for an identity that transcends the binary between robot and human

  2. Ha! I can most certainly relate to buying books on, quite literally, every outing. My family has become used to dragging me away from all of the various bookstores we pass on trips, though I could happily spend the entirety of the trip losing myself in their shelves. I’m sure your partner feels their pain keenly! 😉 xx

    1. Haha yeah…at this point, you’d think the novelty would wear off after five years! But it’s pretty easy to get sucked into shelves, especially used books where you really need to look at EVERY book!

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