Top 10 Quirky Bookshops in Edinburgh

There are plenty of quirky bookshops in Edinburgh filled with charm, oozing with every possible genre of book you can think of!

Getting lost in a book can really help you unwind after a long day of studying, and give you much-needed chilled vibes.

Luckily for students living and studying in Edinburgh, the city is filled with magical bookshops bound to keep you busy.

So, whether you’re into J.K Rowling or some classic Charles Dickens, fear not, cos we’ve got you covered.

Grab your reading glasses, and let’s take a look at 10 quirky bookshops in Edinburgh you just have to visit!

1. Armchair Books

72-74 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE

Arcmchair Bookshops In Edinburgh

Once you walk into Armchair Books, you’re hit with the refreshing smell of vintage books.

There’s something definitely very calming about this bookshop, with its super quiet and chilled atmosphere.

Armchair Books are all about a calming and chilled atmosphere, although small, their shop is brimming with all different kinds of books.

Browse floor-to-ceiling shelves with plenty of hidden gems and hide away from the busy streets of Edinburgh for a while!

Since it’s nearby to The University of Edinburgh, it has rare university press books that are usually unavailable in chain stores.

Get yourselves down to Armchair Books and get lost in fiction, non-fiction, and everything else!

2. McNaughtan’s Bookshop

3A, 4a Haddington Pl, Edinburgh EH7 4AE

McNaughtan's Bookshop In Edinburgh

Fancy visiting the oldest second-hand and antiquarian bookshop in Scotland? We thought so!

McNaughtan’s buy and sell old books, offering some absolute classics to buy including true Scottish classics.

Whether you’re looking for Art & Architecture, History, Languages, Religion, and many more, they’ve really got it all.

With super charming interiors and stacked floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with some even around doorframes, this place is amazing!

Why not take a perch on the window seat with your book of choice and stay for a while to fully unwind?

3. Edinburgh Books

145-147, West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DP

Edinburgh Bookshops In Edinburgh

Check out Edinburgh Books, one of the friendliest bookshops in Edinburgh that’s for sure – with added quirkiness!

The independent cosy store is filled with shelves piled high with books for adults and children, with signed copies and readings.

Take a trip to the basement, where you’ll find a huge non-fiction section you’re bound to get lost in.

Edinburgh Books is tucked around the corner on West Port Street, a definite hidden gem with plenty of surprises!

4. Tills

1 Hope Park Cres, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9NA

Tills In Edinburgh

Tills is one of the bookshops in Edinburgh that is an absolute MUST visit for all students – trust us on this one!

There’s so much jammed into one tiny space, and we’re totes here for it, it’s a really snug place.

With plenty of classic fiction available for everyone, you’re bound to find a book or two to keep you occupied.

Just as spring starts to slowly roll in, why not treat yourself to a cosy book and a cuppa to take your mind off studies?

5. Typewronger Books

4a Haddington Pl, Edinburgh EH7 4AE

Typewronger Books In Edinburgh

This book and typewriter shop is super unique, if you’re after quirky bookshops in Edinburgh – this is the place.

Next time you’re heading towards Leath Walk, be sure to stop here and have a mooch at their amazing book selection!

Typewronger books are actually part of a gallery space at McNaughtan’s (as previously mentioned above.)

Full of charm and friendly staff, there’s a good mix of books in this small space!

The staff will also order books for you if they don’t have them – talk about fab customer service.

6. Topping & Company Booksellers of Edinburgh

2 Blenheim Pl, Edinburgh EH7 5JH

Topping & Company Bookshop In Edinburgh

Fairly new the Edinburgh bookshops scene is Topping & Company Booksellers of Edinburgh!

It’s one of the largest independent bookshops in Edinburgh in a very long time, and they even serve complimentary refreshments.

Although fairly small, the range and sheer quality of books really make up for it, they’ve crammed loads into one space!

With ceiling to floor bookshelves and comfy seats to sit on, Topping & Company Booksellers of Edinburgh is so popular.

If you’re into detective fiction, this place has an extensive range, so get your thinking hats on and solve a whodunnit!

7. Avizandum

56A Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE

Avizandum Bookshop

If you’re studying law at university, Avizandum has a super-comprehensive stock of Scot law books to get stuck into.

Granted, buying law books might not be considered fun, but Avizandum always manages to deliver great service!

8. Forbidden Planet

40-41 Southbridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LL, UK

Forbidden Bookshops In Edinburgh

Calling all pop culture lovers! Forbidden Planet is one of those bookshops in Edinburgh with a solid selection of comics & graphic novels.

There’s a really good atmosphere in this place, it’s generally a fun place to visit if you’re after something new.

9. Lighthouse

 43-45 W Nicolson St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9DB

Lighthouse Bookshops In Edinburgh

Labelling themselves as Edinburgh’s ‘radical bookshop’, Lighthouse is a women-led independent bookshop.

If you’re into activist, intersectional, feminist, LBGTQ+ content, get yourselves down here ASAP – you won’t regret it.

They have over 10,000 titles across genres like history, fiction, and politics and they’re all about making the world a fairer, better place.

Pre-Covid, Lighthouse has plenty of events you can enjoy, usually with two events a week as well as a book club.

10. Transreal Fiction

46 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE

Transreal Fiction Bookshops In Edinburgh

This particular bookshop in Edinburgh is a specialist for all things sci-fi and fantasy! What more could you want?

The best part? You’ll find books by authors that don’t even have British publishers!

In fact, it has the biggest range of imported science fiction and fantasy titles in Scotland, with extremely knowledgeable staff to help you.

Transreal Fiction is definitely on the quirky side, which is why we absolutely love it!

If you’re a student wanting to explore on a rainy day, head to this bookstore in Edinburgh and you won’t be disappointed.

Are you feeling inspired? We hope our 10 quirky bookshops in Edinburgh blog has given bookworms plenty of ideas. Getting lost in a book is one of the best feelings, and we hope we’ve helped you find your book of choice. They can be a great way to unwind and focus on our wellbeing, for more wellbeing advice, check out our latest blog on University Mental Health Day 2021.

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