'Magical' Edinburgh bookshop which opened 34 years ago goes up for sale

It began as something of a whim following a romantic stroll through the New Town - but the chapter is soon to end.

By Jacob Farr
Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 8:21 am
Till's bookshop in Edinburgh is on the market
Till's bookshop in Edinburgh is on the market

Ann Samuel Till and Rick Till are selling the secondhand bookshop they opened 34 years ago in the Capital.

But they are desperate for someone else to carry its legacy on.

“We were young and if not full of energy then, at least with more than today, and a load of enthusiasm and optimism,” said Ann, 65.

Till's bookshop in Edinburgh is on the market

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    “As we walked through Edinburgh in the summer of 1984, about to get married, Rick speculated on what he could do here, in Scotland.

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    “We were walking down Dundas Street when Rick said, ‘a bookshop - we could open a secondhand bookshop’.

    “And that’s what we did. Till’s has persisted, survived and has blossomed through all of the changes over the years into a well-loved old gem that it is today.”

    Till’s Bookshop, on Hope Park Crescent, near Edinburgh University’s main campus has served countless generations of students, tourists, and locals, even welcoming some of them in as part-time workers.

    And now it is on the market.

    “Ever dreamed of owning a magical bookshop? Till’s Bookshop is for sale. We’re retiring,” Ann and Rick, 66, posted on their social media earlier this week.

    The idea of owning an independent, second-hand bookshop is likely to appeal to many an avid book lover across the Capital and beyond.

    Regular customers of Till’s will reflect fondly on its old fashioned feel, complete with iron range that proves particularly popular during Edinburgh’s cold winters.

    The shop stocks a healthy range of topics from the world of literature and poetry, sci-fi, crime, biography, history, politics, art, language, science and more.

    Offers are now invited for the sale of the shop, described as occupying an ‘excellent corner site near the University of Edinburgh, very visible to pedestrian, vehicle and lately, cycle traffic as it has become Till’s corner’.

    The advert reads: “We are ready to retire and a lot of our customers would like to see the bookshop carry on.

    “If this is for you and you are in a position to offer, contact us.”

    Ann added: “We’ve been a team, Rick visible out front, myself keeping the wheels running in the background.

    “Overall it’s a good way to be with people, selling them books.

    “Rick realises whilst he’s ready for the rest from the routine, he’ll miss it.”

    Campbell Deeming, on Till’s Twitter post advertising the sale, said: “Sad to hear you’re retiring, but you deserve it after all those years. Many thanks for all the books over the years.”

    Further tributes to the pair were paid by user Steve Chovanec.

    He said: “I’ve never wanted anything more, but I’d have to win the lottery and get a visa.”

    “Till’s was one of my favourite spots in the city when I was an American student far from home,” posted another user. “I’ve still got all the Shakespeare and John Buchan I got.”