St. Andrews, on the east coast of Scotland, is the home of golf and the seat of an ancient university. But it is also where you will find Topping & Company, one of three bookstores owned by Robert Topping, considered among the greatest booksellers of our time (a fourth location is set to open in Edinburgh in the coming months). When I step inside its front door, I immediately see handpicked books that I feel have been placed there just for me. Every one seems to have been chosen with infinite care and seems … well, seems just right. This is what Heaven is like—books, leather armchairs, coffee … and Mr. Topping is such a sympathetic St. Peter.

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels. Pantheon will publish To the Land of Long Lost Friends, the next in his series, in October