… doesn’t mean I have to tootle off and spend a fortune on books, does it?

It doesn’t actually. No need to tootle at all! It’s now possible to spend a fortune on books and support your local/favourite indie bookshop without leaving the comfort of your home! The site, http://www.bookshop.org was set up to support bookshops during lockdown, with a percentage of each book sale being given to British Indie Bookshops. To date bookshops have benefited from over £1.4 million raised in this way. It means many have been able to survive lockdown.

So you can simply let your fingers do the walking, the clicking and the buying … BUT

bookshops have reopened, and I fancied a change of scenery. Using bookshop.org’s bookshop finder, I discovered that the 2021 Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year is just an hour’s drive from me in Linlithgow. Yesterday the sun was shining, the car was in need of a good run, my bookbag begging for a refill 😉; it was time to visit Far From The Madding Crowd.

Middle photo credit: Far From The Madding Crowd

Situated on Linlithgow’s High Street, the shop is on two floors. The kiddies have a floor to themselves in the basement; the adults get the ground floor which has sections for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a Scottish room subdivided into similar sections and an area for cards, stationery and gifts. I did find the bookshop a little cramped because of this, but it was well-stocked with two shelves reserved for a small but well-curated section of works in translation (i.e plenty from Pushkin Press and a good selection of German literature). I had no problem refilling the book bag!

There was barely a mention of Independent Bookshop Week. Nevertheless my visit was well-timed as it coincided with the Totally Locally Fiver Fest. (Details and map of participating towns here.) Specifically it meant that yesterday every paperback book on the A-Z fiction shelves and the crime shelves was priced at just £5! (Promotion lasts till 26.06.2021)

As I visited on spec, without a list of priority purchases, I picked up a few books I have long been meaning to read. 3 historical novels for £15 and the 66th Pushkin Classics edition to grace my shelves. £27 all in.

Not a bad morning’s work, at all. As the sun was still shining, it was time to take a walk around Linlithgow Peel and enjoy the views to the palace, where Mary, Queen of Scots was born, before heading home to find some shelf space for the new purchases. (Easier said than done.)

View to Linlithgow Palace