Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Six of Edinburgh's Most Enticing Book Shops

24 June 2015

[Image credit - Old Town Books, Greater Grassmarket

Edinburgh has a fantastic and vibrant literary scene and our city's streets are stuffed with independent and quirky book shops and sellers.

No matter what kind of books you’re into, there’s bound to be a book boutique for you in Edinburgh. So curl up, get comfortable and read about seven of our favourites: 

The Old Town Bookshop

Old Town Bookshop

[Image credit - Greater Grassmarket

Nestled in the picturesque Victoria Street, The Old Town Bookshop has been established in the book business for over 30 years. They have an absolutely fascinating collection of old antique books and you are bound to get lost in their expansive and intriguing stock.

Head along to their beautiful shop in the Grassmarket and have a browse… you never know what you might find.

8 Victoria Street, Edinburgh EH1 2HG

McNaughtan’s Bookshop

Mcnaughtans Book Shop

[Image credit - McNaughtan's Bookshop Facebook]

In the hustle and bustle of Elm Row you’ll find McNaughtan’s Bookshop, a second hand book shop that has been around 1957 and is probably one of the oldest of its kind in the country. They have a huge variety of antique books on offer, ranging from history, travel, literature and illustrated children’s books. 

The shop also has a gallery space, which hosts ever changing displays of art and photography from local and upcoming artists. Be sure to check back often as they update the exhibition regularly. 

3a Haddington Place, Edinburgh EH7 4AE (website) 

Word Power Books

Word Power Books

[Image credit - Word Power Books Facebook]

Opened in 1994, Word Power Books stocks publications that offer alternative viewpoints on gender, the environment and current affairs.

They support small presses and new writers, organising the Edinburgh Independent Radical BookFair which has become an annual feature on Edinburgh’s literary calendar. 

43-45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB (website)

Golden Hare Books

Golden Hare Books

[Image credit - Golden Hare Books Facebook]

This charming shop in the community of Stockbridge prides itself in a hand-picked selection of contemporary art, fiction and poetry, aimed to enthral and delight both young and old.

The Golden Hare also hosts regular events, including book launches, poetry nights and book groups, so why not pop along and see what’s happening?

68 St. Stephen Street, Edinburgh EH3 5AQ (website

The Edinburgh Bookshop

The Edinburgh Bookshop

[Image credit - The Edinburgh Bookshop Twitter]

The Edinburgh Bookshop is officially one of the best book shops in Scotland, having won both the UK Children’s Bookshop of the Year and Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2014. Their knowledgeable and passionate staff will be able to guide you around their expansive collection of fiction and children’s books to help you find your next favourite read.

The shop also has a jam-packed schedule of events, including regular book signings, writer’s workshops and two weekly story times for the under 5s. You can find them on Holy Corner, right between Morningside and Bruntsfield.

219 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4DH (website)

Armchair Books

Armchair Books

[Image credit - Armchair Books Facebook]

With groaning shelves stacked to the brim and cardboard boxes on the floor stuffed with fascinating literary finds, this intriguing establishment is worth a look if you find yourself in the Grassmarket area.

The place is a labyrinth of tall bookcases that stretch right up to the high ceilings, with literally thousands of books. If you do decide to pop in for a look – beware. There’s a very high possibility you will get lost in here for hours!

72-74 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE (website

Want to browse a little bit more? Find more rare shopping finds in our hidden gems section