Independent Bookshops, Edinburgh – PART 1

  11 Nov '22   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Scotland is filled with excellent independent bookshops, from city centres to the Highlands and Islands. At Birlinn we hugely value our relationship with these innovative booksellers and their shops. In the run up to Christmas we’d like to take the time to highlight Scotland’s fantastic bookshops for you.

THE LIGHTHOUSE BOOKSHOP, 43-45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB

There has been a bookshop on West Nicolson Street for over 30 years – the Lighthouse is a new incarnation of the Word Power bookshop opened here in 1994.

Nominated as Scotland’s best independent bookshop in 2020, The Lighthouse Bookshop stocks 10,000 titles across most genres, from politics, history, fiction and travel writing to Children’s books, crafts and cookery. They are particularly passionate about radical, left-wing and Scottish politics, intersectional feminism, revolutionary history, environmentalism, LGBT+ writing, poetry and translated fiction.

THE EDINBURGH BOOKSHOP, 219 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4DH

Founded in 2007, The Edinburgh Bookshop is an award-winning Scottish independent bookshop in the heart of Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. As a community hub, their emphasis is to make the bookshop a welcoming space for readers of all ages and abilities.

The Edinburgh Bookshop won UK Children’s Bookshop of the Year 2014 and the Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year 2018 (Bookseller Industry Awards, also 2014 & 2015).


In 2019, independent chain, Topping and Company Booksellers, opened their newest store on the corner of Edinburgh’s Blenheim Place. With handcrafted bookcases, rolling ladders for browsing, and a steady supply of tea and coffee from friendly staff, it has quickly become a staple store in Scotland’s capital.

At 4,000 square feet and with shelf space for over 70,000 titles, Toppings Edinburgh is one of the largest independent bookshops in the UK.

GOLDEN HARE BOOKS, 68 St Stephen St, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AQ

Golden Hare Books is a charming independent bookshop situated in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge, where you can find an ever-changing collection of fiction and non-fiction for readers of all ages. They hold close to 2000 titles covering all genres of writing from cookery to travel, kid’s picture books to science fiction – and many more in between.  

Golden Hare also runs an extensive events and workshops programme featuring author talks, book signings and their own reading group. 

Check back next week to discover more excellent independent bookshops in Scotland!

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