Toppings promise to offer Edinburgh book lovers a 'unique experience' when new store opens this weekend

A BROTHER and sister fighting the digital trend have set up their fourth bookshop - and this time it's in Edinburgh.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 09:15 am
Cornelia and Hugh Topping are bringing their store to the Capital

Toppings, an independent and family-owned bookshop, is set to open at 10am on Sunday in Blenheim Square, Edinburgh.

Complete with its rolling library ladders and space for more than 70,000 books, it will be the largest independent bookshop to open in Scotland in decades.

Co-director Cornelia Topping said: “It’s a challenge opening a bookshop in this day and age, but you just have to be at the top of your game.

Toppings, an independent and family-owned bookshop, is set to open at 10am on Sunday in Blenheim Square, Edinburgh.

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VIDEO: First look inside Edinburgh's new Toppings bookshop ahead of opening

She said experienced book sellers will be in the shop to discuss titles and to give guidance to readers over a cup of complimentary tea or coffee, which will be served all day.

“At Toppings we want people to have a physical experience browsing, rather than looking at the algorithms of Amazon when looking for books.”

The family-run business, which has stores in St Andrews, Bath and Ely, prides itself on running autonomously rather than from one “central hub.

Each store has its own “flavour” to suit the taste of its readers.

“The difference between us, and let’s say Waterstones, is that each Toppings bookshop is catered to the area they are in,” Cornelia said.

“When we order the books, we don’t order the same batch for all four bookshops – they are independently run so the stock is different.

“So our Edinburgh store will have the best collection possible to suit readers here in this city.”

Toppings has been running for about 19 years.

The only books sold online are signed first editions from authors.

Otherwise, the family bookshop offers an entirely “physical” experience in all its stores.

“I am looking forward to working out more about what Edinburgh readers want to read so that we can fill our shelves with books to their taste,” Cornelia said.

“There’s still some space.”

The shops are renowned throughout the UK for hosting engaging author events and book festivals with big names making appearances all year round. The autumn programme at Edinburgh stores will see events with well-known authors including Rick Stein and Julian Barnes.

Normal opening hours from Monday onwards will be from 8:30am until 8pm.