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6 Brilliant Independent Bookshops in Scotland

6 Brilliant Independent Bookshops in Scotland

While we’re all at home, one of the silver linings is that there is more time for reading – well, hopefully! But it’s important not to be too hard on yourself if you can’t read that 500-page epic you’ve always wanted to tackle. Something light and breezy might be just the tonic, especially if you have kids running around!

If you’re looking for a new book to read, now might be a good time to support a local bookshop, if it is safe to do so. While many have sadly closed their doors for the time being, a few shops around the country are fulfilling online orders. And if you’re looking for Scottish classics to read, then why not take a look at our Scotland in Literature blog for ideas.

Happy reading!

Coronavirus Restrictions 

The majority of Scotland is now under a temporary lockdown, though some island communities are under level 3 restrictions. Please follow any current restrictions – you might need to save these ideas to try later on a future trip.

Find out what level each area is under and read more about the 5-level Covid-19 restrictions to plan and book ahead when considering a future trip. You can search for businesses that are open, and Good to Go, where they have a Covid-19 risk assessment.

Lighthouse, Edinburgh

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Oh how wish we could stay open for you- But we won’t, because ya’ll need to STAY HOME! We are putting last bits in place for the move online and launch of #LighthouseLifeRaft – Thanks for being so patient with our plotting/teasing/web-redesigning, it will be worth it, promise!! Also, please, don’t be strangers! We’re a DM/text/email away-and not just for ordering, we’re still ‘here’! We will miss our in person chats and debates and putting the world to rights with you – but we WILL still be being ‘us’ in all those and other ways too. Just online. x Email: Website: Ps- we are painfully aware that staying home is, for those facing domestic abuse or poor mental health, a frightening prospect. We have not forgotten you, we’re an email/text away. We are working on setting up a system where you can discretely place an ‘order’ that will alert us that you need help or are in danger and we will pass that on to relevant local services. We want to get that right though, so hang in there while we work out details and we’ll post an update early next week. LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER people! #communitybookshop #selfisolation #Bookshop

A post shared by Lighthouse Bookshop Edinburgh (@lighthousebks) on

Located in Edinburgh’s city centre and long a favourite with students, Lighthouse is a radical bookshop dedicated to making the world a better place. This is a particularly good shop to pick up books about politics, environmentalism and LGBT+ issues, but you’ll find fiction, cookery books and children’s titles here too.

Website: Lighthouse

The Main Street Trading Company, St Boswells

Based in the lovely Scottish village of St Boswells, The Main Street Trading Company is a previous winner of Britain’s Best Small Shop (2018). Usually full of people and the smell of coffee, this airy space offers a fab selection of books. Check out their online shop and see what takes your fancy!

Website: The Mainstreet Trading Company

Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh

Voted Independent Bookshop of the year at the British Book Awards 2019, you’ll find Golden Hare Books in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh. They may have closed their doors for now, but online orders are still available. Find the latest fiction releases as well as old favourites.

Website: Golden Hare Books

Topping & Company Booksellers, St Andrews

This independent, family-run bookshop has been welcoming readers in St Andrews for over six years. You have good chance of picking up something signed and collectable here, which would make a great gift. Take a look at their website or give them a ring if there is a particular book you would like.

Website: Topping & Company Booksellers

The Bookmark, Grantown on Spey

If you are an avid reader in the Grantown-on-Spey area then you are in luck, local shop The Bookmark is still selling books. This is one for locals only though. Tweet @BookmarkMarjory or phone/email the shop to find out more. The Bookmark has an eclectic range of titles for you to choose from!

Website: The Bookmark

The Bookhouse, Monifieth

If you are looking for books in the Monifieth/Broughty Ferry area then take a gander at The Bookhouse. Although the shop is closed, a delivery service to the local area is still running. To place an order or enquire about stock, call 01382 698484 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday, or visit The Bookshelves section of the website.

Website: The Bookhouse

Remember too there are lots of online reading groups available to you just now, as well as readings by your favourite authors. Check out the Scottish Book Trust website for more information on reading and writing in Scotland, or explore more independent bookshops across Scotland.

As with many things just now, deliveries and orders are subject to change. If you are an independent bookshop and would like to be added to this list, please comment below.