Bookshops with character in Scotland

Check out these interesting bookshops in Scotland and get lost between the pages of stacks and stacks of dreamy books. 

1) Armchair Books

Getting lost down the rabbit hole is quite an enjoyable experience at Armchair Books. Books are bursting from what seems like every corner of the shop, which is bound to give any organisational enthusiast a slight heart attack. But you don’t come here for the latest bestsellers, perfectly organised displays and Costa Coffee. You come here to get stunned by the eclectic choice and the books that seem to be as old as Edinburgh itself. Go get lost.

antique books at Armchair Bookstore in Edinburgh

2) Leakey's Bookshop

Leakey’s secondhand bookshop possesses character and charm that you think is only attainable in the fairy-tale books it sells. Housed in a Gaelic church dating back to 1793, this sanctuary now provides space for a different type of worship. The high ceilings, pulpit and log burning stove are just some of what make this place so special. A definite stop for book lovers.

interior of Leakey's bookshop in Edinburgh

Church Street, Inverness

+44 (0)1463 239 947

More Hidden Scotland?

This guide takes you to hundreds of worthwhile spots all over Scotland: from nature reserves, to locals' pubs, from vintage shops to dramatic lochs. Available in our shop now.

Buy the book

3) Calton Books

Based near the famous Barras on London Road, Calton Books is Glasgow’s Independent Radical Bookshop, run by volunteers. The literature here promotes the local working-class history and joins the dots around the world to embrace other working-class ideas, politics and history. The stuff you ‘weren’t taught in school’. Radical free thinking is encouraged here and you can choose from genres such as feminism, anarchy, Marxism, civil rights and refugees to name a few. T-shirts, pins, patches amongst other things are also available.

Calton Books storefront in Glasgow

4) Voltaire and Rousseau

Get sucked down Otago Lane and into another dimension in Voltaire and Rousseau, which has stood as a secondhand bookstore for over 40 years. The sea of stacked books seemed to go on and on and on. You get the feeling that in this new dimension the book chooses you, not the other way around. Give yourself time to sift through, as it will beat ordering a book off Amazon any day of the year.

a cat on tops of books at  Voltaire and Rousseau store

12-14 Otago Lane, Glasgow

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up