Bookshops of Edinburgh

Both of us like wandering old book stores, which have become hard to find in Toronto. Edinburgh still has many, though, so we made a point to seek them out.

Edinburgh Books Basement

The first we visited was Armchair Books, located in the Grassmarket neighbourhood near the castle. It has multiple small rooms overflowing with second-hand books of every type.

Nearby, also in Grassmarket, Edinburgh Books was similarly chaotic. They also sell sheet music in a low-ceilinged basement.

On Leith Walk nearer to our apartment we found Elvis Shakespeare, a shop selling both books and vinyl music.

“Our prices are fair & competitive. If you do not like the price, do not buy the item.”

Josie picked up this old book for £3. Something to read on the plane, maybe.

Also on Leith Walk, a bit closer to the city centre, are two book shops sharing one space: McNaughton‘s, one of the oldest book shops in Edinburgh, and Typewronger, a new and highly curated space that also sells and fixes typewriters.

The Typewronger shelves
The Typewronger shelves

On entering Typewronger we were offered first tea, then whisky, by the enthusiastic curator. He gave us a tour of the shop.

I purchased a copy of Deep Thinking, a book about artificial intelligence by chess player Garry Kasparov, who was beaten by IBM’s Big Blue supercomputer. With my purchase I of course received a hand-made origami dragon.

On St. Stephen Street in the Stockbridge neighbourhood, we found Golden Hare Books, another modern shop with a carefully curated selection of books.

Here we found two books worth purchasing, including a beautiful book of city illustrations by the artist Lorna Brown.