However, nothing quite matches the experience of browsing in a real bookshop. You can locate secondhand bookshops around the UK through www.inprint.co.uk, an invaluable site that also allows you to rate bookshops and provides dates and locations of bookfairs and auctions, making it essential reading for a bibliophile.
Part of the pleasure of reading can be discussing books with other readers, and www.thelibrarything.com allows just this with forums, blogs, lists and a cataloguing tool to enable you to keep track of your collection if it's expanding beyond your memory.
We are passionate about books to the extent that any trip is a busman's holiday, and we can't walk past any bookshop, new, charity or secondhand. We'll be putting together a list of our favourites on the blog, but hope you will also tell us about yours. Bookshops are a "use it or lose it" resource so please support your local independent bookseller wherever it is.
Some other BOOK-RELATED links
- Online catalogue searches of the National Library of Scotland, the British Library and the US Library of Congress.
- Am Baile is a bi-lingual website of Highland history and culture. It includes rare books, documents and photographs from archives, libraries, museums and private collections as well as contemporary art, oral histories, films, interactive games and comics.
- Glasgow is home to one of our favourite bookshops Voltaire & Rousseau, in Otago Lane just off the Great Western Road near the Kelvin Bridge. Piled high with teetering stacks of stock - when you move a box, there may well be a cat in it. Getting out without spending three figure sums is my stated ambition.....www.voltaire-rousseau.co.uk
And some SKYE-RELATED links
- The Cafe Arriba in Portree is definitely one of our favourite places to eat on Skye: Jenny and her team make you feel very welcome, there's a real buzz and they offer a fabulous range of lunches, coffee and cakes - www.cafearriba.co.uk.
- Check out the wonderful Maggie Zerafa at the Bay Pottery in Armadale: we genuinely have difficulty not trying to buy the whole shop - www.maggiezerafa.com.
- We also love the raku ceramic work of Patricia Shone, another Sleat resident artist: we have several of her pieces and they just grow on you more and more. www.patriciashone.co.uk.
- Duncan Currie - www.duncancurrie.co.uk. Pay a visit to his gallery at the end of the Old Pier in Broadford for watercolour landscapes, cats and some serious left wing political chat!
- We recognised the Fairy Pools in a picture in the window of a Glasgow gallery and were immediately entranced by it: it was by Beth Robertson Fiddes - www.bethrobertsonfiddes.com.
- We have to mention our friends Helen and Neil Urquhart at Cioch Outdoor Clothing. We've been buying made-to-measure hillwalking clothing made by them for nearly 20 years and it's indestructible, brilliant at doing its job, very well made and excellent value. And made right here in Struan in their workshop in the basement of their shop just across the road from us! www.cioch-direct.co.uk.
- My favourite sewing machine shop is Bamber Sewing Machine Centre in Eccles, Manchester. They are Bernina specialists but have dozens of different machines for you to try out at any time, helpful staff who try and analyse what you really need and don't try and sell you this week's model, some excellent reconditioned machines and best of all, they really know their subject. My Bernina and Elna both came from here. www.bambersew.com.
- These are some other blogs which we like and which may interest you.
- A pair of French booksellers on holiday on Skye. Their visit to us is towards the end of this long page, amidst some excellent photographs of the island.