Much-loved independent bookshop Toppings to open in Edinburgh in 2019

Much-loved independent bookshop Toppings is finally coming to Edinburgh complete with rolling library ladders and space for over 70,000 books.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 6:00 am
Independent booksellers Topping & Company will open a new bookshop in central Edinburgh in 2019
Independent booksellers Topping & Company will open a new bookshop in central Edinburgh in 2019

Serving complimentary coffee and tea amidst the stacks of books, it will be the largest independent bookshop to open in Scotland in decades.

Taking over the 4000sq/m former RBS site at Blenheim Square, the bookshop will also host novelists, politicians, comedians, chefs, and more, with the opening programme to be announced later in the year.

Director Hugh Topping, told the Evening News: “We’re delighted to be opening in one of the world’s great cultural cities.

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The new bookshop will open later this year in Blenheim Place, Edinburgh.

“Edinburgh has a strong literary scene and it’s the perfect place for a new independent bookshop.”

The new bookshop is set to be a striking addition to Edinburgh’s literary scene with handcrafted bookcases, Topping & Company’s signature rolling library ladders, and space to house 70,000 titles on the shelves.

The Grade A listed William Playfair building will add to Topping & Company’s repertoire of bookshops already established in St Andrews as well as Bath and Ely, Cambridgeshire south of the Border.

Historian Nikolaus Pevsner once wrote of the building, “it is so curious and extravagant that the wonder is that it was built at all.”

Hugh and Cornelia Topping were aged 11 and eight respectively when the first bookshop opened in Ely in 2002, with the pair having much more enthusiasm than experience.

They have worked in the company since, and will be heading up the Edinburgh project along with Duncan Furness, currently at the St Andrews bookshop.

The shops are renowned throughout the UK for hosting engaging author events and varied book festivals with big names making appearances all year round. Upcoming events in St Andrews include Ruby Wax and Janice Galloway.

A number of large regular events also take place outside the St Andrews shop, with visits in the past from Professor Richard Dawkins, Gordon Brown and Tom Kerridge – giving the people of the Capital an insight into what they can look forward to. A team of independent-minded booksellers will be running the new Edinburgh bookshop that is set to open its doors to the public in late summer/early autumn.

Michael Grieve, who is a bookseller in the St Andrews bookshop, said: “It’s wonderful to spend the day surrounded by books, and working at Topping & Company means we can share our love of literature with a wide community of friends and supporters.”

Readers can follow the progress of the new shop at or by following on social media.