Thrifting on the Isle of Skye

I have to confess that I seem to have inherited a bad traveling habit from my mom: buying books. Last year when we traveled with her to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, she bought so many books we weren’t sure that she’d be able to bring them all home. Fast forward one year to me in Scotland, same problem. We bought 9 books – not including a few, smaller booklets purchased at museums.

Not all of these were purchased used. The two Peter May books in the photo were new – the big, heavy, hard-cover Hebrides was a must-have after we’d read his trilogy and then we found Coffin Road, which won’t be released in North America until November, so – score!

But as I noted in my last post, we hunted through thrift shops to find a few titles that I had read about before we began our trip. One afternoon, we visited the Windrush Café and Studio and Mor Used Book Store, in Struan, Isle of Skye. We stopped here because it billed itself as having “coffee worth driving for miles to drink” but when we got there, we discovered that the whole shop was closing, so very little fancy coffee or pastry was being served.

But there were plenty of books and a whole section of vintage clothing and odds and ends. It was here that we found two books we’d been searching for:

Calum’s Road, is a non-fiction book about a man who single-handedly built a road on the tiny island of Raasay (just off the coast of Skye, which we visited), in “defiance against the erosion of his native culture.”  It’s another one of countless stories that speak to the tenacity and pluck of islanders.

Whisky Galore is fiction but based on the true story of the wreckage of the SS Politician, which came to ruin on the shores of Eriskay, with thousands of bottles of whisky on board, valiantly rescued by the locals and hidden from the officials who came looking for it.

The Screen Machine is movie theatre in a semi-truck. How cool is that?

And in one of those cool, serendipitous travel moments, we actually got to see the latest movie version of this when the Screen Machine pulled into Tarbert, on Harris.

the interior

This traveling movie theatre seats just over 80 people and brings feature films to the islands where there is no movie theatre. It was just as comfortable as any movie theatre I’ve been in with the added bonus that we could bring our own snacks!

Are you a traveling book buyer?

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3 Responses to Thrifting on the Isle of Skye

  1. I have a large stack of books by my easy chair waiting for me to get into the next rainy day you made me anxious to start

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