Booksellers Without Borders: Gayle's off to the Edinburgh Bookshop

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Back in July, Keira from the Edinburgh Bookshop spent a week with us in the Bookshop. Next week, our Gayle is completing the exchange by travelling up to Edinburgh to work with them. You’ll be able to follow her adventures on the Bookshop’s Instagram; read on to find out a little more about Gayle’s dark bookselling past and her hopes for her exchange visit.

How long have you been a bookseller?

Since I left university and started as a Christmas temp at the Broad Street branch of Blackwells in Oxford. Working in a bookshop was a teenage dream of mine, which I've now been smugly living for nearly a decade.

What are you reading right now?

Nell Zink's new one, Nicotine

Name three books on your reading list

There's too many to choose from, but let's say Future Sex by Emily Witt, Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars by Adrian Tinniswood and Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine by Diane Williams.

What is the one book you wish you could sell to everyone who walks into your shop?

After August's Author of the Month extravaganza, it's still Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner. Or Summer Will Show. Or The Corner That Held Them. Anything by Sylvia Townsend Warner, basically.

Do you have a favourite publisher? If so, why are they your favourite?

My new favourite is the brilliant Tilted Axis Press, a not-for-profit publisher focussing on marginal voices in international literature. They're doing totally right-on, necessary work, which is also exciting and innovative and - thanks to their designers - dead good-looking. I'm really excited that we're launching their second title, One Hundred Shadows by Hwang Jungeun, next month.

What are you looking forward to most about working at the Edinburgh Bookshop?

Searching out some good Scottish writers I haven't read yet. Marie, the shop owner, has also warned me that my time there will involve a lot of tea and biscuits, so I've been in training to deal with that.

If you could work in any bookshop in the world (outside of these two wonderful institutions), which would it be?

I visited Skylight Books in Los Angeles last year, which is a beautiful neighborhood bookshop in Los Feliz. As well as a great selection of books and a brilliant events programme, it also has a tree growing in the middle of the shop. There's nothing not to love about it, so either there, or that one on the beach on Santorini

Follow us on Instagram to keep up with Gayle's despatches from Edinburgh. You can find out more about the Edinburgh Bookshop here.

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