Happy New Year to you all! To celebrate, this week we headed to one of the most wonderful bookshops I've ever been to, in order to...

Books Always Everywhere

Saturday, January 09, 2016 BookBairn 6 Comments

Happy New Year to you all!

To celebrate, this week we headed to one of the most wonderful bookshops I've ever been to, in order to spend mummy's Christmas book tokens! I cannot tell you how wondrous and magical a bookshop that Toppings and Co. in St Andrews is. I will simply describe the hour we spent whiling away a miserable rainy morning. Firstly, and kindly, a member of staff saw me struggling with the door and the pram and came to my rescue by helping out (for anyone with a experience wheeling a pram around you will know how grateful you are when someone helps you navigate a door!) and before I even had my hood down and the rain cover off the pram I was offered a tea or coffee - a bookshop with free tea is my kind of place!

I wandered around the displays piled high with signed copies and first editions of so many fantastic books, some of which have been on my 'to buy' list for ages, and others, of which I was previously unaware but have now become high priority on said list! Shortly after I decided on my little treats to myself, BookBairn woke from her slumber and we headed straight to the children's section. I cannot overstate how fascinated she was. Honestly (and let's be frank here, bloggers sometimes take a little poetic license) but truly and honestly as we walked though the shop to the children's book nook, which is tucked away at the back of the shop, BookBairn pointed in all directions and repeated "book" over and over! Clearly, this first (well, nearly first, but she was asleep for all of our previous visit, so it doesn't count) trip to mummy's favourite bookshop was as much fun for her as it was for me!
Stocked to the rafters, Toppings is a real treasure trove for all readers! I loved the sofa in the children's nook which had a little sign that positively encouraged parents (and grandparents) to sit down and read with their children. And the cup of tea implied that we were welcome to stay as long as we liked. What a wonderful atmosphere! The staff were very knowledgeable and friendly helping me to find a book that I had been desperate to read for a while and asking me about BookBairn's favourites. We plonked ourselves down on the sofa and snuggled away from the rain to read several of their fantastic board book selection (pictured left).

BookBairn particularly enjoyed playing with the dangly Christmas decorations that were made from book pages. So much so, in fact, that the staff, enamoured by her giggles of delight, let her take a few home to play with! We also noticed that they hold a monthly gathering for children aged 7-12 where they chat about books and share snacks and recommendations. The cost the club is redeemable against any children's book purchase, perfect for all those budding bibliophiles out there! We would love to see a group for younger children too please! 

Overall the experience was wonderful! If you are nearby, or visiting, you absolutely must cross the threshold and travel into this magical world of books! 

What did we buy? Of course, I spent far more than my book token would cover (no surprise there says daddy BookBairn who tried, and failed, to ban us from buying any new books - sorry, not sorry!). For mummy (it was my Christmas gift afterall): the beautiful picture book aimed at adults and children alike 'the Fox and the Star' by Coralie Bickford-Smith is a beautifully illustrated fairy tale; and 'The Looking Glass House' by Vanessa Tait, which provides a glimpse into the world of Alice Liddell, the little girl who inspired Alice in Wonderland. For BookBairn, 'Books Always Everywhere' by Jane Blatt and Sarah Massini (amongst others but I'll save those for a later blog). I couldn't think of a better title to summarise our day out, or BookBairn's room, or our house, or our lives! 'Books Always Everywhere' is a wonderful book for all little bookbairns out there. With rhyming prose, each page describes different kinds of books ("Book big. Book small. Book wide. Book Tall."), accompanied by cute illustrations bringing the text to life. The blurb describes "for the very young, books can be anything - from a chair, or a tower, to a hat - but the best thing they can be ... is a book ... and it's never too soon to share a good book with your little ones." How true! This is certainly a "good one". BookBairn tried out the recommendation to use the book as a hat but in the end she preferred to flip the pages and read the story. 
Hope you enjoy sharing good books with your little ones. And with bookshops like Toppings around, you will certainly not struggle to find many many good ones to share!

Love Mummy and BookBairn xx

P.S. We just wanted to share how much BookBairn enjoyed reading two of her favourite books with two of her favourite people! Thanks Grandma and Papa BookBairn for reading with me xx


  1. I love spending time reading with BookBairn and agree with the comments about Toppings and Co. A great bookshop in a great Auld Toon.

  2. I still have the chewed copy of 'Dear Zoo' that my teenage son was inseparable from as a baby! Your post really brought back memories, thank you! #readwithme

    1. Glad it brought back happy memories! Dear Zoo is a wonderful classic!

  3. Oh this sounds like a fab place to visit, I'd love more first editions of books on my book shelves!! Thanks for linking with #ReadWithMe

    1. I'm regretting that I didn't pick up a copy of Finding Winnie, might need to go back for it! x