About Us

Just a short stroll from Edinburgh’s Botanical Gardens you will find The Gently Mad, a friendly and welcoming bookshop/bindery. The shop was opened in 2012 by Robert Mullin, who was quickly joined by son, Baz.

The Bookshop

Entering our shop is like stepping back in time, it’s quirky, charming and has the distinctive smell of old leather volumes. We love people to come in and browse and chat and are always happy to help you find what you’re looking for. We have an eclectic mix of books with most of the stock being antiquarian. We always carry a wide selection of Natural History, Children’s illustrated, books of Scottish interest, Architecture, Classic Fiction, Science, etc. We also make a cracking cup of tea so don’t be shy to ask.

The Bindery

Our bindery is integrated into our bookshop, so visitors can watch us at work. At the Gently Mad we use traditional materials and methods for repairing and restoring those well-loved volumes. For customers looking for unique bindings, such as visitors’ books, artist’s sketchpads, journals, student theses etc we will work with you to ensure you get the look you are after. We offer a truly bespoke, artisan service at competitive prices, and treat every book as if it was our own. Our clients have included the Queen, the film industry, MPs and many other lovely interesting people.

Rab Mullin

Rab trained as a traditional book binder with The National Trust for Scotland in Edinburgh where he spent many years learning his craft. Minimal intervention is key to Rab's ethos when restoring those valuable and sentimental volumes. Every book has its own personality and therefore each must be approached individually so that it retains its original character.

Rab’s interest in books started when he was young. He is considered an expert in Ladybird books. He published the definitive guide to Ladybird books in 2005 and contributed to Millers Collectibles guide in 2007 on the subject. He created and ran The Wee Web, a well-known online site dedicated to Ladybird books, with links to the BBC and Ladybird publishers themselves.

Rab's knowledge extends well beyond ladybird books. He has a keen interest and wide knowledge regarding illustrated children's books, and has a passion for well-illustrated natural history books.

Baz Mullin

Baz has trained as a bookbinder under his Father’s guidance for the last 5 years. He has developed a real aptitude for the craft and produces spectacular onlays for fine bindings. Some of his work has sold to members of the PBFA ( ) and to private book collectors.

Baz is a very talented artist which can be seen in his binding work. He has an incredible eye for detail and uses the tiniest pieces of leather to create truly beautiful works. He is music lover and If you are lucky enough you might hear Baz playing his guitar between jobs, the shop minstrel.

To see our stock of antique and collectable books, please follow the link to our eBay shop front