Anne Scott has never housed her books in order of theme or author yet she knows where each of them is and the kind of life it has led. Some have been gifts but most have been chosen in bookshops unique in their style and possibilities. Gradually some of the shops become partners with her as her life changes and so do they. They have been observers of discovery, decisions, and marvels with her, following the line of her time and place. Some are everyday shops with a shelf of books in a corner, some are beginning again after long lives as churches, printing presses, medieval houses, a petrol-station. There are a few the author is too late to see: early print-houses and booksellers. They are here too in this book, searched for and described, side by side with all the bookshops open now and busy with readers. This book is about them. Not one is like another. In one way, the book is a sequence about writing. But first it is a map of books and a life.
‘It is possible that even the author's talented son, whose own backpages includes the towering The Whole Of The Moon, has written no finer love-song.’
-Alan Pattullo, The Scotsman
‘An indispensable guide to bookshops lost and living and an at times moving tribute to impact of the bookshop on the open-minded and enquiring individual.’
‘For anyone who has ever seen a bookshop as the gateway to other worlds, this beautiful book on the character of such places and their significance to those who are drawn to them, must have a place on their shelves.’