‘It is illegal to sell books to anyone under 16 (Edinburgh)’

– Trading License requirements section 54

This I got to know today when i visited Armchair Books, the old, acknowledged bookshop in Grassmarket, to search for useful books of journalism.

The notice is posted on the wall by the counter as a reminder, so no underage person would try to sneak in unnoticed and buy a book (!). When asked if this is true, the manager replied that it is indeed. That leads to many interesting thoughts and images, for example, teenage girls, searching for ID in their bags, before paying for a book. Shop assistant ID-ing young persons sounds even better.

None of those thoughts is even near to understanding of Why would The City of Edinburgh Council state such a rule… Ideas, anyone?

It turns out this statement is as absurd as it sounds. When calling the Consumer Direct line, I was advised that there is currently no such age restriction. Well, it has been an exciting day, because for most of the time I was sure I had some great material for writing on my hands.

It is not a big surprise though, knowing how eccentric the staff likes to be in this shop. An effort of me trying to enlighten them would be pointless. Or maybe the hypothetical stream of sad, bookless teenagers deserting the shop would finally stop/come to end.


4 Responses

  1. That’s hilarious… I can imagine kids hanging around on street corners asking old men to go in and get them a copy of War and Peace.

    • Exactly!
      When I passed the shop again, the manager was quite surprised about the news. Am not sure if they will take the notice down or just keep taking a piss.

  2. I saw the same sign when I was in. I figured it was due to the fact that the books are second-hand. Certain rights, like the right to return, are withdrawn concerning second-hand goods. I doubt it’s to stop the likes of Dickens from corrupting Edinburgh’s youth.

  3. It’s a shame I am too old to get done for underage reading… That would be one dignified charge!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: