The bookstore


Here’s the promised pictures of the inside of Shelter Books.  The regular manager had vacation this week so I was able to hang out with Lee, the substitute manager.  Lee, who was very nice, is also obsessed with all things American.  Imagine my surprise when he started talking about the St. Louis Cardinals and how it was his favorite baseball team!  This is so surprising, first due to the fact that most people over here don’t know a lot about baseball, despite the ubiquitous NY Yankees hats that are nothing more than a fashion statement.  The funniest thing about our conversation (which lasted two hours because Lee’s a talker) were the cultural differences.  Our conversation began when Lee asked me about a book that I had with me: Queen Eleanor, Independent Spirit of the Medieval World, a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Lee claimed to have never heard of her!  Seeing that she had been a major figure in English history, that was pretty surprising.  Then the conversation moved to William Wallace and Robert the Bruce – and he said he never learned about them in school either!!!  What?!?!  That is CRAZY!  I mean really?  So, while I was shocked and gave him a bit of a hard time about it, he soon proved my ignorance in popular American culture.  He is a huge Stephen King fan, loves American TV, thinks George W. Bush would be a cool guy to hang out with and talk baseball, loves American music.  Basically he wishes he was an American!  So we spent the next hour looking at maps of the US while he asked me about California, New York, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and everywhere in between.  One of the funniest thing he asked was “Are midwesterners as weird as they seem on TV?”  I just laughed and asked him where he got that idea.  He said “Well, in all the sitcoms, which are usually in NY or CA, whenever there is someone from the midwest, they’re weird.  And if they’re exceptionally weird, they’re from Wisconsin.”  No offense to anyone from Wisconsin, but isn’t that hilarious?  So we talked about the elitism of certain TV writers who don’t give a thought for the people from the “fly-over” states.  Anyway, after that long intro, here’s the pics:

Right at the entrance.

Right at the entrance.

This is it.  I'm not exactly sure how they cram so many books into such a little space, but the effect is charming.

This is it. I'm not exactly sure how they cram so many books into such a little space, but the effect is charming.

My favorite corner - where all the antique books are crammed together.

My favorite corner - where all the antique books are crammed together.

Another of my favorite section.

Another of my favorite section.

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Can you spot Lee? He’s in there.
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The fiction wall - where I get to do the "a to zed-ing."

This little section really gets a lot of attention from American tourists (and I fully include myself in this).  Little tiny antique classics - everything from Austen to Dickens to more obscure titles, all beautifully bound, aging, dusty, and smelling of old leather.  And they're practically giving them away at $4-5 each.

This little section really gets a lot of attention from American tourists (and I fully include myself in this). Little tiny antique classics - everything from Austen to Dickens to more obscure titles, all beautifully bound, aging, dusty, and smelling of old leather. And they're practically giving them away at $4-5 each.

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
This entry was posted in Books, Charity Shops, Cultural Difference, Life in Edinburgh and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The bookstore

  1. hilary severson says:

    What a fantastic bookstore!! I want to go there and talk with your friend Lee. Thanks so much for posting pictures, it is a delightfu little shop. With our homeschool background I’m not surprised Lee could outwit you when it came to American pop culture. The same would happen with Jimmy’s roommate Xavier from France. He knew EVERYTHING about American pop culture. So funny!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. julie says:

    it’s funny how a room full of books is peaceful. If only my piles of paperwork had the same effect…

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