Welcome to Golden Hare Books, who can be found at 68 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh (p.s. this is a wonderful bookshop just across the road from my partner’s mum, so helpful and friendly)
The Golden Hare was started by Mark Jones, a museum curator and art historian, with the initial plan of calling a children’s bookshop ‘The Golden Crocodile’. He commissioned his daughter Agnes, an artist-blacksmith, to create a mascot for the shop, and she returned with a gilded hare! Thankfully, he really liked it.
The Golden Hare first opened its doors in the summer of 2012 in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh’s Old Town. After over two wonderful years in this location, the shop moved to the community-oriented area of Stockbridge in the New Town area, where it’s happily been for nearly three years.
We asked all the bookshops to answer three Christmas questions:
1. What is your favourite Christmas book?
This has to be Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson, a compendium of stories and recipes inspired by the Christmas season released this year. Fans of Winterson will recognise her characteristic humour alongside tales of hardship and sadness, and there’s a fair amount of reflection and memoir in there too. I reckon it would make a really good introduction to her work too – it’s really beautiful.
2. What books should we look out for this December? Adult fiction, children’s fiction and non-fiction
There have been so many this year that we’ve produced our own gift guide with some of our favourites from 2018. We judge books by their cover here too and all these are beautiful on the inside and out!
Adult Fiction: Circe by Madeleine Miller has been a year-round favourite, as well as Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss and anything by the brilliant Charco Press (Latin American fiction in translation). Graphic novel wise we’ve loved Square Eyes by Anna Mill and Luke Jones.
Children’s Fiction: The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton is a brilliant feminist tale, as is The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. And for older kids there’s the amazing Tales from the Inner City from Shaun Tan, who remains glorious as ever.
Nonfiction: Too hard to choose! Some of our favourites have been Bound: 15 Beautiful Bookbinding Projects by Rachel Hazell which is perfect to give as a gift or will help you make gifts, Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes by Caroline Eden, full of travel essays, recipes and photography from the Black Sea region and Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount, which is just the most perfect quirky coffee table book for book lovers everywhere.
3. Have you any events going on in December?
We sure do – on 4th December we have Christmas poetry with Poetry Instead of a Card publisher Candlestick Press, on 5th we have an event about perfumes inspired by books, on 6th we have our neighbourhood Christmas shopping evening, on 7th we have a festive bookbinding workshop and on 11th we are doing a festive edition of our short story club and reading Christmassy Agatha Christie! Phew!