Edinburgh – city of literature and a very fine book festival

It’s nearly time….

The clock is ticking and the big day is drawing near….

I’ve packed my case…

I’ve got my map……..

And in only  a few weeks time, I’ll be off to the largest public celebration of the written word in the world – Edinburgh book festival – and I can. not. wait.


This will be my first as THEBOOKTRAIL and I am so excited to be going back to a fair I started going to during my time as a university student in Edinburgh. Now I am going back armed with maps, novels and questions and like the intrepid booktrailer that I am, I am making the most of it. The hotel has been booked, the haggis restaurants mapped out and a visit to my favourite haunts pencilled in.

Edinburgh – I miss you and I’m coming back.

The book festival aims to be one of the biggest and the best so far and judging by the line up of authors and events, I’m sure it will be.

Where else can you meet Kate Atkinson, Margaret Atwood, Alexander McCall Smith amongst many more?

Where else can you be surrounded by people who love books and words as much as you do?

Where else can you learn about the wealth of Scottish literature and the history of its storytelling?

Edinburgh Book Festival that’s where. In a city renowned its love of literature – where even the train station’s name is taken straight from the front page of a novel (Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley)  – I can’t think of a better place to get off a train and start the first of many booktrails and literary happenings.

Edinburgh is THE literary city of all literary cities – I mean where else can you get off at WAVERLEY, and just incase you miss that literary link, walk round the corner and find yourself right of Sir Walter Scott’s presence – well a monument dedicated to him  and I think the biggest shrine to an author in the UK. Then walk down Princes street and up to the corner of Candlemaker Row and George Iv bridge and you’ll find the statue of a dog immortalised by the book Greyfriar’s Bobby.

As a translator and former languages student in Edinburgh, I am particularly excited about the Art of Translation series. How does the essence of a story change from one language to another? Having read the likes of Jane Eyre and many novels in multiple languages in order to learn that language, I will be interested to find out!

Which reminds me of my first day at university – excited coming to read foreign languages  – only to find out that the Scottish language was probably going to be as much of a challenge. I was asked by the lady who came to check the inventory of my room if I had the following items:

Read with a strong Scottish accent:

her – Do you have a bucket hen?

me – No, no I don’t think so (what on earth is a bucket hen? I thought)

her – No bucket?

me  – Aah a bucket? no, I don’t have one of them

her – What about a downie?

me – (thinking what on earth is that?) Nope don’t think I have one of them either

her  – (hearing my northern English accent) Aaah you’re from just down the road then?

me – Well..no, it’s about 100 miles away actually..

her  – Do you have a…. and seeing my face she then said – well I think I’d better come in and have a look hen

Turns out even though I had been to Edinburgh and indeed Scotland many a time before I had discovered some new words:

A bucket is a dustbin/wastepaper bin

A downie is a quilt or duvet

And ‘from just down the road’ can mean 4 miles, 40 miles or 400 miles

Edinburgh book festival is taking me back to the land of literature, the city of literature and the happy memories of reading books in several languages everyday as part of my studies.

Books had brought me to Edinburgh in the first place and now they are calling me back





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