Typewronger Books & Typewriters is a fairly new and independent bookshop which has opened shop last year in Haddington Place, Edinburgh. It is open from 11am to 9pm, Tuesday to Sunday. It also has an online shop, but the vibe inside this bookshop is so special, it is definitely worth visiting in person. Located right at the start of Leith near multiple bus stops, it is surrounded by many beautiful cafes and pubs, ideal to stop by to start reading the newly purchased books. Worth noting that although they are partners with McNaughtan’s, the much older and more famous second-hand bookshop next door, they are separate (and the prices are much more student-friendly). It may be a tad hard to spot it, as it is below the street level with stairs at the entrance – so mind the sign.
From the moment you walk in, a cosy and nostalgic vibe surrounds you. The owner, Tom, offers a cup of tea or coffee immediately, and the book lovers start wandering around in the room with their beverage as background music comes softly from the vinyl. Typewriters lie dispersed on the shelves. Although it doesn’t have its walls completely hidden behind books, Typewronger still has a vast variety of books from imported ones to books published by the bookshop, from timeless classics to new, local authors. The contemporary poem books and the politics and gender shelves are worth checking, but whatever your favourite genre is, you’ll find something for you taste. Tom is very helpful and knowledgeable about books, so you can always ask him any queries you have. After packing your newly purchased books, he’ll gift you a hand-made origami of your choice. Chances are, you will leave the bookshop feeling light and energized from the magical environment you just left.
As well as selling and publishing books, Typewronger also sell and repair typewriters. What’s more, there is a typewriter called Tweetwronger inside that is connected to Twitter. The tweets people send with @Tweetwronger and hashtag typethis get sent out from the typewriter, which is a smart way to combine the vintage characteristics of the shop with today’s social media culture without hurting the old-school ambience.
The bookshop holds open mic nights each month for people to exhibit what they create. The performing artists come from all backgrounds in these inclusive nights, as they’re sometimes a woman of colour reading a poem about her mother and her self-growth, or an old man singing about climate change. The audience enjoys the night with a glass of wine or tea, and possibly home-made vegetarian and vegan snacks.
Everything about this place makes the experience special. Not only the vintage interior or the unique aspects such as the typewriters and origamis, but the friendly ambience Tom and the fellow book lovers create, whether it be people’s attitudes, or how they chat and laugh in a chilled way. It is very likely that you will also come across authors and books you wouldn’t anywhere else. Everyone needs to spare some time to check out this underrated book haven.
Image: Pollyanna Esse