Armchair Books, Edinburgh

Armchair Books, Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a wonderland for bibliophiles. There are a myriad of reasons why the Scottish capital was named the first UNESCO City of Literature, with its exceptional libraries, quirky independent bookshops, and illustrious literary history.

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Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey’s Bookshop is possibly my favourite bookshop ever. Located in Inverness, the  most northerly city in the United Kingdom and capital of the Scottish Highlands, this one of a kind bookshop is literally an old Gaelic church filled with books. Hallelujah, finally a religion worth waking up early for on Sundays!

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John Sandoe Books, Chelsea

John Sandoe Books, Chelsea

Tucked away on a quiet street just steps from Chelsea’s stylish Kings Road is where you’ll find wonderful independent bookshop, John Sandoe Books. The bookshop still remains in it’s original location on Blacklands Terrace, now spanning three shops that were acquired over the space of fifty years.

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Word on the Water, London Book Barge

Word on the Water, London Book Barge

A once wandering 1920’s barge has taken up permanent residence along York Way on London’s Granary Square, just a short walk from Kings Cross and the British Library. Yet, this is no ordinary passenger barge, it’s a floating bookshop called Word on the Water – a trove of new and used books stacked amidst a funky bohemian ambience. True literature lovers surely have a floating bookshop on their bucket list? The sultry tones of jazz floated through the air as I walked towards the barge.

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Shakespeare and Co Bookshop, Paris

Shakespeare and Co Bookshop, Paris

Shakespeare and Co is an independent English language bookshop that has hosted a myriad of creatives over the past seventy years as the inadvertent home of the Anglo-American literary community in Paris. A treasure trove of coloured spines, velvet chairs, and wall to wall shelves with books squeezed into every possible nook and cranny.

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The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The first stop on my little Jane Austen road trip was Bath, where Jane lived between 1801 to 1806 and set two of her novels, Northanger Abbey & Persuasion. The problematic nature of being a lady in Regency England was that young women had to marry to secure their future. Jane Austen wove this predicament into all of her novels, commenting ever so gently that this was utter nonsense.

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State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

Once upon a chilly Sunday morning, the call of a million books drew me out of bed to the State Library of Victoria. The middle of autumn is my favourite time in Melbourne, crisp air fills your lungs, the parks are a glittering shade of gold, the aroma of freshly ground coffee floats through the air, and an abundance of pink camellias are in full bloom.

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Jane Austen’s Home, Chawton Cottage

Jane Austen’s Home, Chawton Cottage

My little pilgrimage through England to see the homes of my favourite writers would be incomplete without tracing the footsteps of English literary rose, Jane Austen. Jane Austen is famous for writing romantic stories, but her words are artfully stitched together with a sharp wit. Her novels offer a subtle critique of society and the social structure in which women had to secure an advantageous marriage to guarantee their future.

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