Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Amnesty Bookshop /EDINBURGH/12 Roseneath Street  Marchmont  
Amnesty Bookshop   Open at advertised times
12 Roseneath Street  Marchmont    EDINBURGH  EH9 1JH
tel:  0131 221 1596  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Sunday 12.00 - 6.00
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An extension of the literary living rooms of the book addicts and academics of Marchmont. Part of Amnesty International's small chain of charity bookshops.

First visit to this new Amnesty shop. Found 4 small items, 3 about the Glasgow area. Cost me a total of £8.50. Another small, semi-noisy wall heater above the door though.  Chris K 19.01.17
Back again on Friday 26 of January. Gave a few decent second-hand Scottish books to them. Did buy a £2.50 one - 2002's 'Glasgow. The Photographic Atlas'. Already have the large London version and the Edinburgh one.  Chris K 01.02.18
Spurred on by the positive comments I paid a visit here whilst up for The Fringe. Thought it had an impressive stock for a charity bookshop and prices were on the whole cheaper than Oxfam. Plenty of space to browse in. Friendly volunteer on the till. Several good cafes within a couple of minutes' walk too.  Graeme Rendall 30.08.18
Still plenty to see on the well-laid out and neatly categorised shelves in this spacious shop, but maybe a little less stock than my last visit 2 years ago.  Wessexman 02.09.21

Armchair Books  /EDINBURGH/72-74 West Port  
Armchair Books    Open at advertised times
72-74 West Port    EDINBURGH  EH1 2LE
tel:  0131 229 5927  e-mail   web  
Open:  Sunday - Thursday 12.30 - 5.30, Friday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.30. Last-minute changes are posted on Twitter.
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Some of our rarer and more unique books are listed on AbeBooks: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/armchair-books-edinburgh/7238158/sf We keep a wide variety of modern and antiquarian stock, including early edition Harry Potter books. Email for face covering policy and accessibility info.

Two long narrow bookshops side by side down the narrow West Port near the Grassmarket, Armchair looks a bit haphazard, particularly in comparison to some of its upmarket antiquarian neighbours, but with a large and varied stock it is well worth a look. The floor may be uneven and one of the entrances a bit too narrow but it has a lot of character as well as a lot of stock. Keep an eye out for the bookshelf in the shape of the Red Baron's plane and if you come eye to eye with a dog whilst looking at books on the lower shelves don't worry, he is just curious to see what you are looking for!  Jeremy Briggs 
As stated, two shops next to each other. Owner and his assistant could not have been more helpful. Good general stock. I found a lot of what I collect on the very top shelf in the second shop. Thankfully I did not have to climb the tall ladder to check what looked interesting as it was done for me with a smile and a pleasant attitude. I enjoyed my time browsing here.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Easily the best bookshop in Edinburgh. Friendly staff and owner.  Chris 09.04.11
Great for fiction and history. Level pegging with the Edinburgh bookshop and McNaughtens.  Herne 02.11.13
I almost didn't go in because the shop looked so small from the street, but inside I found a treasure trove of excellent old books in a shop more spacious than it appears. The staff were knowledgeable and helpful.  Richard 24.04.15
Wonderful shop, comprehensively stocked and full of character. There are two rooms but the layout makes such imaginative use of the space available that it seems larger. There was a crowd of American students there during our visit and we had to QUEUE to buy our books! Fantastic to see so many people having a great time in a bookshop!  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
All one knocked-through shop, 4 packed cosy rooms, lots of books for £3.80.  glenk 04.09.15
Best s/h bookshop in Edinburgh. Has to be dragged out by partner before excess spending. All older books, many subjects, comprehensive. Super.  Norman D 30.10.16

Bethany Bookshop/EDINBURGH/33A Haddington Place
The Bethany Bookshop  Open at advertised times
33A Haddington Place  EDINBURGH  EH7 4AG
tel:  0131 561 8989 
Open: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00
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Charity bookshop of the homeless charity Bethany Christian Trust, opened in 2019.

Bookworm/EDINBURGH/210 Dalkeith Road
The Bookworm  Open at advertised times
210 Dalkeith Road   EDINBURGH   EH16 5DT
tel: 0131 662 4357  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 9.30 - 5.30, Saturday 9.30 - 5.00.
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Front shop is mostly paperbacks in all subjects of fiction. Upstairs mostly non-fiction, with one of the best selections of military history in Scotland. I have been in business for over twenty years at the same premises.

Bookworm has two rooms, a big bright front room of mainly paperback fiction laid out like a record shop with the books in rows one behind the other, and a smaller back room of non-fiction more normally laid out in bookcases. Near Cameron Toll, this is more remote from the city centre than the rest of the Edinburgh shops, but worth the trip especially for their military history section.  Jeremy Briggs 
Great range of subjects and prices. friendly and helpful shopkeeper will bring up theme-sorted boxes of books on your interests from basement too. well worth the £1.50 bus fare out. I came away with a bagful.  glenk 04.09.15
Have to agree with the description - very good stock of military and naval history in the back room. The very pleasant owner was happy to retrieve items for me from his storeroom, and I came away very happy with my purchases. Definitely worth a trip out to this quiet SE suburb.  Wessexman 04.09.21

Cabaret/EDINBURGH/137 Westport
Cabaret  Open at advertised times
137 Westport   EDINBURGH   EH3 9DP
tel: 0191 2094093 
Open:  Monday - Saturday - 10.00 - 5.00.
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A Jewellery and collectables shop with a couple of cases of mainly Victorian books, and a basement full of older books.

A very nice bric-a-brac shop with just a few books on ground floor bookcases to fill up the space. Basement had a few hundred books but they were mainly pre-war and post-war fiction.  Chris Harte 11.06.10

Citadel Books/EDINBURGH/41 Montrose Terrace
Citadel Books  Open at advertised times
41 Montrose Terrace   EDINBURGH   EH7 5DJ
tel: 07758 416136  e-mail 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 12.30 - 5.30.
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A little bit of everything, an interesting selection including poetry and fiction, art, meditation (Sri Chinmoy) and Scottish. Some new, mostly recent secondhand, many unusual items. Run by author-poet, Alan Spence, and his wife, Janani.

Duncan and Reid/EDINBURGH/5 Tanfield
Duncan and Reid  Phone before travelling
5 Tanfield   EDINBURGH   EH3 5JS
tel: 0131 556 4591  web 
Open:  Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 - 5.00 ** Closed until Saturday the 2nd of November 2019.
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Antiques and books.

A shop which is half books and half antiques. The books cover mainly art and antiques related subjects but the shop has a small but interesting selection of old children's books.  Jeremy Briggs 
The highlight of the visit was chatting to a charming, cultured lady who was running the shop. Her literary knowledge was top class and she showed me around many of the quality books adorning the shelves. The arts and antique publications were not my forte but I could well become interested with such a delightful teacher.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Only open Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 - 17.00. Got here 5 minutes too late.  Chris K 19.04.14
Managed to get back after the April poor timing. Can't remember buying a book here - the stock is not too special.  Chris K 16.08.14
This little shop is part of the cluster of shops near the Botanical Gardens. It is mainly an antique shop but has a few hundred books amongst its stock. I always enjoy a browse here, even when my specialist interests mean there is nothing to buy. As a previous commentator has said, the stock is strongest in collectable children's titles.  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
The antiques are much better than some rather badly displayed old books.  Chris K 23.02.16
Is a small shop with a small selection of both antiques and books. Worth a look if passing - purchased one goodie, but not worth a large detour.  Norman D 30.10.16
A notice in the window says that this shop will not be open throughout September and October.  Wessexman 22.09.19

Edinburgh Books/EDINBURGH/145-147 West Port
Edinburgh Books  Open at advertised times
145-147 West Port   EDINBURGH   EH3 9DP
tel: 0131 229 4431  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.00.
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Scottish books, literature, military, music, theology and travel, as well as some antiquarian.

Was West Port Books and has just reopened under new ownership.  TBG 03.10.06
The owner's wonderful sense of humour livened up a most enjoyable visit. I searched through my interests while my wife's opinion was that the fiction section "was superb." The large holding of Scottish titles was eye-watering while the music and religious parts of the stock were substantial. Noted for a return visit.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
I was in Edinburgh Books recently and was totally ignored. Access to browsing was denied by man who saw me trying to get to the books but would not budge. No wonder bookshops are closing.  Harry Lawrence 14.03.11
I entirely endorse Chris Harte on this one. To his list I could add Classical literature, American History, Cricket, and a few more. Only real (comparative) weakness I see is general history.  ECD 25.11.11
Good for poetry and music. The woman at the counter was jealous of the Van Morrison book I found but I pointed out there were two!  Herne 02.11.13
Think this shop was cleaner and tidier back in its previous ownership. Why are heavy books up on high shelves not put into order? Many are far from straight. Many moons since the floors were hoovered too. The young lady at the desk was reading her tablet rather than doing some real work.  Chris K 21.11.13
Agree with CK here, disagree with Mr Harte. Reasonable varied stock but value depends on you taste. Am more interested in books than personality of staff. On second visit to sell, owner made me reach over counter to retrieve books he wasn't buying. Unimpressed.  David S 17.01.15
My opinion, if any thing, more pronounced! Founds some interesting Scottish items in the small specialist room, but the shelves are becoming doubled-up. Newer and quite old books mixed up together. Did find 2 such items to add to my collection. (Even went to the basement, where many books needed sorting out.)  Chris K 24.02.15
This is the first time I have visited since the departure of West Port Books, a long-time favourite. I was delighted to discover the premises still in book shop use, with a fine water buffalo presiding over activities! There is plenty of stock, strongest on History and Fiction.  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
For my money the biggest and best in Edinburgh. 8 rooms on two floors, vast range, and a whole wall of books for £1.  glenk 04.09.15
What a let down. Yes very full selection of Scottish and Music titles but unfortunately my topography interests were hidden behind an occupied chair (see above comments) - piles in boxes unsorted. Could be so much better.  Norman D 30.10.16
Back again. Think I met, for the first time, the Northern Island man who owns this. Bought a good Glasgow architecture p/b item for £6. (One ground floor room is well sorted.)  Chris K 24.06.17
Not much to complain about here! A well filled shop with something to suit most tastes, but make sure you have a full wallet before venturing inside.  Wessexman 02.09.21

Elvis Shakespeare/EDINBURGH/347 Leith Walk
Elvis Shakespeare  Open at advertised times
347 Leith Walk   EDINBURGH   EH6 8SD
tel: 0131 561 1363  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.00, Sunday 12.00 - 5.00.
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We are specialist dealers in rare vinyl and quality literature.

Not really WAD unless you collect punk, indie and dance vinyl. Idiosyncratic web site in terms of condition grading and shipping costs. Fairly average non-fiction on offer - prices reasonable. Nearly 8000 books - may be not all on display? Must get some interesting stock, from time to time? I didn't peruse the fiction.  Chris K 27.07.10
My opinion not really changed after a year away. Couldn't find anything special to buy in films/music/books. Does keep the website very up-to- date with new stock.  Chris K 02.08.11
Fascinatingly arranged shop near junction with Pilrig Street. Books and Music sections of equal weight, literature sorted by geographical location.  glenk 04.09.15
Much more of a music shop with a smallish eclectic selection of books on the side.  Wessexman 05.09.21

Ferry Fair Books/EDINBURGH/South Queensferry and Rosebery Hall
Ferry Fair Books  Open at advertised times
South Queensferry and Rosebery Hall  High Street  South Queensferry   EDINBURGH   EH30 9LL
e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 4.00 (March - October only)
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Charity bookshop with small general stock raising funds for the annual Ferry Fair held each August in South Queensferry.

Gently Mad/EDINBURGH/2 Summer Place
The Gently Mad  Open at advertised times
2 Summer Place   EDINBURGH   EH3 5NR
tel: 0131 261 6028  e-mail  web 
Open:  7 days 11.00 - 6.00.
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In the shop above our bindery we hold an interesting selection of antiquarian and collectable books that cover a wide range of subjects. We always have a good selection of military, natural history, children's illustrated, transport, sports, folklore and legends, art, history and classic literature.

Was T & B Bookcrafts, changed ownership and name in January 2013.  TBG 06.03.13
Times of change at The Gently Mad, with stock en route from the first floor to the basement. This move should be completed shortly. In the meantime, a concentrated essence is on display, illustrated books and decorative bindings of great beauty, in that small part of the shop that is not occupied by the bindery. I was in heaven! Staff were friendly and the emporium felt very accessible. Prices are high, sadly, but a visit is sheer visual joy.  TravellingLibrary 01.08.15
Expanding - the owners are in the process of opening the basement, in order to relieve the rather cramped area upstairs.  Richard Beaton 05.10.15
Shop has now expanded - you can go down to the basement, where I did find one Edinburgh book to add to my collection. Better condition titles are in the window but too many others not in great nick.  Chris K 23.02.16
I loved this shop - chaotic with variable condition items but an excellent place to spend browsing time. Fascinating and less stuffy than many others in Edinburgh.  Norman D 30.10.16

Main Point Bookshop /EDINBURGH/77 Bread Street
Main Point Bookshop   Open at advertised times
77 Bread Street  EDINBURGH  EH3 9AH
tel:  0131 228 4837  e-mail   web   
Open: Monday - Wednesday 10.00 - 6.00, Thursday - Saturday 10.00 - 8.00, Sunday 11.00 - 6.00
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An eclectic choice of books bursting with attitude. Recently moved to larger premises.

It was difficult to get too far into this cluttered shop. There were piles of books everywhere with modern fiction appearing to dominate. There were no definitive sections or groupings. Until there is a clean-up it is not really worth a visit.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
I can happily report that the shop has recently been cleaned up and it is now much easier to find things. Always worth a look and prices are very moderate.  Ken Bogle 30.03.11
Now this is in good order with a decent range of stock. Found a reasonably priced, uncommon art book to buy. Will be returning.  Chris K 21.11.13
I run Main Point Books and would like to point out that the first comment here, from Chris Harte, refers to our previous, small premises. When we moved I requested that the comment be taken down, but no such luck! Now we have a lovely sunny shop, and many sunny customers who enjoy browsing our stock. We also host events, generate paper sculptures, and have learned to shrug at the slings and arrows.  Jennie Renton 03.07.14
Having read Jennie's comments (above) I looked at Google Streetview and saw for myself that her description of the new premises is quite correct. My original review is now part of history and I hope to visit the new shop whenever I can. I must add that my purchases from Jennie in the past (at yet another different location) were of the highest quality. I'm sure nothing has changed in that regard.  Chris Harte 08.07.14
Bought 4 South London railway books to add to my growing collection. (Lines I used many times back in the '60s and '70s.) Cheap too compared to Barterbooks in Alnwick. Bring some cash as they can't accept credit nor debit cards.  Chris K 24.02.15
A curiously shaped emporium, resembling a wedge of cheese, but very well organised and with very attractive stock. Prices are surprisingly moderate for the location. Well worth a visit.  TravellingLibrary 01.08.15
Currently located just round the corner at the end of the line of West Port bookshops - don't miss it.  glenk 04.09.15
Lovely smallish shop, nice lady on counter. Bought a few titles at very decent prices unlike the over pricing of some other famed Edinburgh shops.  Norman D 30.10.16
Bought 3 more nice Middleton Press railway items to add to my collection. £19 not out. (Good lady owns this.)  Chris K 24.06.17
Seems to have remained closed post-pandemic. Neighbours say 'for technical reasons'.  Wessexman 02.09.21

McNaughtan_s Bookshop /EDINBURGH/3a - 4a Haddington Place  
McNaughtan's Bookshop   Open at advertised times
3a - 4a Haddington Place    EDINBURGH  EH7 4AE
tel:  0131 556 5897    web
Open:  Tuesday - Saturday 1.00 - 5.00
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We have a large general second-hand and antiquarian stock including books on the fine arts, architecture, children's books, literature, history, music, travel, topography, natural history, cookery and gardening. Within the shop is a small gallery space with a rolling programme of exhibitions of the work of contemporary artists. The exhibition space can be rented and you are referred to our website for terms and conditions.

This bookshop is Edinburgh at its best. The shelves are groaning with quality and I was amazed at the runs which were being offered for sale. I spent just over two hours here when, in all honesty, it should have been longer. The prices were very fair and I had no hesitation in parting with quite a lot of money in exchange for some very collectable titles. Visit highly recommended.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Specialities include Scottish, literature, history and visual arts. Has changed since my last visit in that there's now a small gallery area with paintings by the owner Elizabeth Strong on display. Tantalisingly a lot of white plastic bags at the foot of the shelves: new stock waiting to be processed. Staffed by a young American chap. (I spent £3.50)  Chris K 27.07.10
Down some steep steps into an extensive basement premises. Probably one of the 2 best rare and second-hand bookshops in Edinburgh. (Just opposite a good s-h vinyl/cd/dvd seller in Elm Row.) Found 2 good cheap, local history p/backs and an unusual French art history title. WAD.  Chris K 02.08.11
The moment you walk in that lovely smell of a quality bookshop, a proper bookshop, interesting books, bargains known, friendly staff, Edinburgh's finest in my view.  PaulP 14.08.13
Missed it on my first walk past! Glad I found it because it is full of interesting volumes. And a great music shop just over the road.  Herne 02.11.13
I have been visiting this place for the past forty years and it is still by far the best secondhand / antiquarian bookshop in Edinburgh. Great art section with an impressive collection of old exhibition catalogues. Large children's section and great Scottish section. A place of pilgrimage for all serious book collectors.  Oor Wullie 26.07.14
All the other comments are still quite right. But I must add some praise for those who work there: civilised, knowledgeable, friendly, they're as much Edinburgh at it's best as are the shop and its stock.  James Mackay 22.11.14
One of my 2 favorite Edinburgh bookshops. A wide range of prices from a few pounds up to many hundreds, but all excellent quality. It seems this shop only sells the best of the best an honest prices based upon condition and rarity.  Richard 24.04.15
Spoke to the nice lady assistant to learn that the shop owner Elizabeth Strong is retiring at the end of the month. It's being taken over by a Blackwell's Oxford Bookshop guy and his partner.The lady I spoke to was being made redundant and finished that day ... All the available stock now out for sale - did manage to find a very good copy of 'London's Railways From The Air'. [Have vivid memories about local stations and steam loco sheds I knew very well.]  Chris K 10.07.15
I have visited this shop many, many times over the years and have always considered it one of Edinburgh's great treats. The Architecture section is a little smaller now that the Gallery has taken much of its space, but is still an excellent offering and largely modestly priced. I wish Elizabeth well in her retirement with her paints and easel. There will be an exhibition of her work at the shop soon. As for Macnaughtans, I expect the old-established name will stay but anticipate a change of ethos and atmosphere in the near future.  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
Very pleased to catch the old shop in its final week. 5 good rooms, spent hours and found a bagful for less than £20. best wishes for the retirement; fingers crossed for the new management.  glenk 04.09.15
New owners Derek Walker and Anna Fomicheva, formerly of Blackwells in Oxford. Met DW on my first return. Had a good look round and could only find a £2 item to purchase. Some of the shelves now need the books kept better sorted. There are gaps since my last visit though 37 new boxes of art etc. waiting to be added.  Chris K 23.02.16
Books now well sorted, nicely presented and well shelved. A cross between antiquarian and general s/h, this is a must for the general collector (ie me). Beware it is difficult to find - look down into the basement off the main road pavement!  Norman D 30.10.16
After 5pm on 23rd December the shop will close for the holiday period and necessary restoration works on our ceiling. We will re-open on 23rd January at 11am with a new exhibition in the gallery.  Chris K 15.01.18
Disappointingly, I was dismissed brusquely by the owner/assistant when I enquired about my favoured subjects, seemingly because the postman took preference. Courtesy doesn't cost a lot even in these challenging times.  Wessexman 22.09.19

Oxfam Book Shop/EDINBURGH/25 Raeburn Place
Oxfam Book Shop  Open at advertised times
25 Raeburn Place   EDINBURGH   EH4 1HU
tel: 0131 332 9632  web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 9.30 - 5.30, Saturday 10.00 - 5.30, Sunday 11.00 - 5.00.
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A medium sized charity bookshop, and the largest of the six in Edinburgh, it has the best selection of stock and is only a few minutes walk from the Shelter bookshop on the same road. - Jeremy Briggs.

A typical charity bookshop selling material of a most general nature.
  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Edinburgh secondhand bookshops are not only plentiful, but conveniently arranged in clusters, as here in Raeburn Place. There is an online map dedicated to promoting 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' through info on suitable shops. All the charity shops, including bookshops, are featured, along with vintage emporia etc. This Oxfam shop is always worth a visit; it is well-stocked and reasonably priced.  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
Very good spacious charity bookshop among a string of general charity shops on Raeburn Place. Bohemian part of town so books are decent donations, not run-of-the-mill.  glenk 04.09.15
The largest of the 3 Edinburgh Oxfam book shops. A while since I bought anything there so pleased to find 3 small items which cost less than £6.  Chris K 23.02.16
Tried again on 24/06/16 with no luck. However returned on the 7th of September and did find an unusual railway book for just £3.99.  Chris K 09.09.16
Sorry but to me this was a standard overpriced Oxfam. Decent stock but nothing to jump out - note like others my location means I can only visits shops say once a year so can't make repeat visits. My luck must have been out. Ordinary.  Norman D 30.10.16

Oxfam Bookshop/EDINBURGH/116 Nicolson Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
116 Nicolson Street   EDINBURGH   EH8 9EJ
tel: 0131 667915  web 
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A small charity bookshop which includes CDs, DVDs and some comics in its stock, it can be a bit of a squeeze to get around at busy times. About 5 minutes walk from Barnardo's in Clerk Street and Till's Bookshop in Hope Park Crescent.  Jeremy Briggs 
This small but well run Oxfam deserves more than just the first comment here... Often drop in to one of the best Old Town charity shops. This time the front window had lots of quality collectable fiction to gaze at. Found 2 good local area Scottish postcard pamphlets. Friendly staff too.  Chris K 24.02.15
Again I must have been unlucky as my visit revealed a bog standard Oxfam. Sadly I did fancy an old title but the price (I was told it was "taken from the computer") was pure ABE books.  Norman D 30.10.16
Back again on the 15th of March. Found an interesting item for only £3.49.  Chris K 25.03.17
I'll echo the comments about it being a bit of a squeeze at times. The alcoves in the non-fiction sections are really just suitable for one person at a time. Good range of titles though but at the usual slightly eyebrow raising Oxfam prices.  Graeme Rendall 30.08.18

Oxfam Bookshop/EDINBURGH/210 Morningside Road
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
210 Morningside Road   EDINBURGH   EH10 4QQ
tel: 0131 446 9169  web 
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A small charity bookshop with Oxfam's typically good selection of books, barely a minutes walk from the Hospice Bookshop just down the road. - Jeremy Briggs.

It was really only the few titles in the 'Old Books' section which were worth observing. The rest of the shop's stock was somewhat general.
  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Shop interesting, but prices really too high - particularly for a charity shop. Would buy more there if prices were fairer - as it is, I just browse  Chris 09.04.11
I agree with Jeremy Briggs on this one. I live just along the road from this shop, visit it almost daily, buy from it frequently, and also donate my own surplus to it. Prices seem not out of line with other such shops in town.  ECD 25.11.11
Not a particularly large shop, but a good size and packed with interest, all at very reasonable prices indeed. Friendly, helpful staff and attractive well-organised books made for a very enjoyable and productive visit.  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
Back here on 15th March. Looking at most of the non-fiction - but too many needed putting back straight. The manager should get these sorted!  Chris K 25.03.17
Easier to browse than the cramped Nicholson Street branch. A pretty average Oxfam outlet.  Wessexman 02.09.21

Peter Bell/EDINBURGH/68 West Port
Peter Bell   Open at advertised times
68 West Port    EDINBURGH  EH1 2LD
tel:  0131 556 2198  e-mail   web
Open:  currently CLOSED, normally Tuesday - Saturday 2.00 - 5.00.
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Five thousand very carefully chosen, high quality books with a strong scholarly emphasis; especially history, philosophy, Scottish, art exhibition catalogues. Strong internet presence. Now includes a selection of Andrew Pringle's stock.

I do not like being snubbed when I enter a bookshop. It took a lot of effort for the owner to break himself away from his sandwiches and post to even look at me. There might have been good antiquarian titles around the shelves but such an attitude problem left me completely unwilling to purchase anything.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
I scarcely recognise Chris Hart's description here - it must have been an off day. The shop's own summary of itself I find accurate - especially in regard to philosophy. It's a small shop, and it's nice to be able to come and go without having to be drawn into chat with the owner, especially on a day when one doesn't find anything of special interest - as can happen.  ECD 25.11.11
Great bookshop with an attentive owner. Bought several books on ancient history when we were there a few years ago. My wife needed to call our daughter in San Francisco and couldn't make a connection on the mobile phone, so Mr Bell insisted she use his phone, at no charge. A nice man running a very well stocked store.  Bill McCarthy 21.08.14
I have been in this shop many times over the years and Peter Bell continues to maintain his high standards. The stock is excellent, both in quality and condition. Prices are high, but that is what it takes to provide such consistent quality. Yes, Mr. Bell is not very sociable, but then he is there to sell us excellent books, not entertain us!  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
This was a seriously enjoyable browse; owner realised I was concentrating on his wonderful stock, not needing to be shepherded or earwigged; and when I engaged him in business, he was a very fair negotiator.  glenk 04.09.15
Accordingly to a notice on the door this shop is closed indefinitely as the owner is Covid vulnerable and too many browsers were failing to wear masks. The business is still trading online.  Gary 31.12.21

Royal Mile Gallery/EDINBURGH/272 Canongate
Royal Mile Gallery  Open at advertised times
272 Canongate   EDINBURGH   EH8 8AA
tel: 0131 558 1702 
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Prints and maps only.

They do not sell books any longer. Nice prints and maps though.  Alan Huyton 15.09.18

Shelter Bookshop/EDINBURGH/106 Raeburn Place
Shelter Bookshop  Open at advertised times
106 Raeburn Place   EDINBURGH   EH4 1HH
tel: 0131 315 0221  e-mail 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.30, Sunday 12.00 - 5.00.
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A small charity bookshop with perhaps the most varied stock of the six charity bookshops in Edinburgh. A well stocked bookshop, it has a motley and rather disorganised selection of magazines and British & American comics. They would sell more of these if they only took the time to organise them properly. It is only a few minutes walk from the Oxfam bookshop on the same road.  Jeremy Briggs 
A very disorganised shop with people just milling around and children playing with magazines which had been stuffed into boxes. The books were very ordinary modern publications.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Mr. Harte's views are rather unfair and not characteristic of this shop. He must have been unlucky in his timing. I usually find something of a bargain to buy but not yet among the older titles at the rear. It is worth a visit and the Shelter shops next door have above average clothes, videos, dvds, cds and vinyl.  Chris K. 14.03.11
I agree with Chris K. Like all charity shops, the trick is to make regular visits. This shop has a rapidly changing window display and often has good review copies and recently published stuff. It's not really geared to the antiquarian collector but perfectly fine for the casual browser of limited means. Other charity shops nearby.  Ken 09.04.11
Back today and found 2 very good items at decent prices. Also browsed the next door shop with some more books, clothes, dvds and records. Found a good cheap New Orleans cd. While paying for this, I saw the poster stating that last year Shelter Stockbridge raised £476,125.  Chris K 08.02.14
Agree CK that regular visits repay. Best Penguin stock in Edinburgh apart from McNaughtans and found several out of print "wants" here. Cannot be compared with private shops who can pick and choose their stock.  David S 17.01.15
This shop is always interesting to visit and the staff display the stock in an attractive manner, more akin to a traditional secondhand bookshop. We always find several things to buy. If you can only visit one charity bookshop in Edinburgh, make it this one!  TravellingLibrary 01.08.15
Visited during 2015 Festival, this was an ordinary charity shop with if anything fewer books than others in the same street. Good Oxfam bookshop nearby.  glenk 04.09.15
Could do with a newer top wall heater - it's rather noisy and too loud. There's lots of Scottish non-fiction items but they are all mixed up. (The fiction stock is kept in good alphabetical order though.)  Chris K 23.02.16
Donated over 40 p/b fiction items, mostly 1950's, on 7th September. My late brother's collection. Had bought a small item back there in June and now got a good 1994 paperback about the 'Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum'. Only £3.  Chris K 09.09.16
Best charity shop I came across in Edinburgh. Unlike other reviewers I am not local so can only judge on a one-off: this was the nearest I have seen to an old fashioned s/h shop and the prices were sooo much more reasonable than the large charity chain opposite. Bought a small bagful.  Norman D 30.10.16
In winter again much too hot in this shop. The old man working there, with his slim half jumper and summer style of shoes with no socks, was a problem. All the other many local charity shops were not hot. Had to take 2 of my outfits off while looking around, but nothing special to buy. Left early.  Chris K 22.12.16
Back again on the 17th of May. Bought a £5 copy of the hardback "MONET IN THE 20TH CENTURY".  Chris K. 18.05.18
Lots of new stock arriving as I browsed and seems to have a good turnover in this very pleasant Northside suburb. Many rolled up maps and plans greet you inside the entrance. I had to wait outside briefly because of social distancing requirements.  Wessexman 02.09.21

St Columba_s Hospice Bookshop/EDINBURGH/14-15 Brandon Terrace
St Columba's Hospice Bookshop  Open at advertised times
14-15 Brandon Terrace   EDINBURGH   EH3 5EA
tel: 0131 552 3994  web 
Open:  Open: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00.
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Situated on a corner by Heriot's Rugby Club. Fitted out and newly decorated by volunteers. Shelves of books easy to examine as they are laid out neatly and in disciplined rows. Nothing antiquarian or collectable, just easy reading titles.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Goldenacre district - on the right near the top of Inverleith Row, less than 1/2 a mile beyond the other 3 Canonmills shops. Very well set out; better than their former Morningside book shop. Above average charity stock. Found one nice cheap item. Currently some attractive watercolour paintings on offer too.  Chris K 16.08.14
Charming charity bookshop well worth the trip beyond the Botanical Gardens to find. Lots of good books for one or two pounds, as well as pricier. good children's section.  glenk 04.09.15
his shop re-located in the last month and can now be found at 14-15 Brandon Terrace, EH3 5EA, adjacent to one of the Canonmills bus stops. Inside it was bright, spacious and well-stocked, with a large back room and helpful staff. Opening times seem unchanged.  Wessexman 22.09.19
This continues to be one of Edinburgh's best charity bookshops. Two large rooms and a smaller connecting one, well stocked and with a few surprises on the 'Recently arrived' shelf. Well recommended.  Wessexman 02.09.21

Till_s Bookshop/EDINBURGH/1 Hope Park Crescent
Till's Bookshop  Open at advertised times
1 Hope Park Crescent   EDINBURGH   EH8 9NA
tel: 0131 667 0895  web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 12. 00 - 7.30, Saturday 11 - 6.00, Sunday 12.00 - 5.30.
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Established in 1986, Till's Bookshop has become an institution with generations of Edinburgh students, their teachers and locals alike.

A friendly, medium sized, well organised bookshop split over two rooms at the east end of the Meadows, Tills has bookshelves rising up to a near vertigo inducing height and, on cold days, an open fire in the back room. Along with a good general selection of books, a big science fiction and fantasy section, and a very interesting section of film and television books, it always has original 1950s and 1960s film posters for sale, plus a varying selection of movie magazines and, at times, Front Of House stills. Around since the mid-1980s, the shop has survived the opening of two charity bookshops within 5 minutes walk. If you have only time to visit one secondhand bookshop in Edinburgh, make it Tills.  Jeremy Briggs 
I am afraid I will have to completely disagree with Jeremy Briggs about giving priority to this bookshop. It would be very low on my Edinburgh list. It was on my third attempted visit I found out that opening time was usually after midday, a fact which might have helped me had it been advertised in the window. I found the holdings to be generally uninteresting and more to the whim of the North American owner. Little good British material.  Chris Harte 11.06.10
Harte has dyspepsia again. I have been visiting this excellent bookshop since 1970, and have made many good, cheap purchases.  Brian 14.06.11
Till's has a fantastic atmosphere and a very varied and interesting collection of books, of all genres. It is particularly strong on sci-fi and fantasy, but 20th-century fiction, classics and history are also very well-represented. The prices are extremely good value and the owner is a lovely Canadian character called Rick. They also stock lots of interesting vintage comic books which make great presents. Support this shop!  Toni B 09.01.15
A very pleasant shop to visit. Two rooms and a cubby hole for the bookseller, with lots of character. Smallish but interesting stock, strongest on Fiction / Literature / Comics / Film (Inc. original posters), but all subjects represented.  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15
Fun bookshop. lots of fiction in front room, fair range of non-fiction out back, good poetry section. 50p boxes outside.  glenk 04.09.15
Back again on 6th of May '17. Bought another good non-fiction item, for £10. Nice young lady working there, after graduating.  Chris K 13.05.17
Although I didn't find anything to suit my tastes, this is a pleasantly laid out shop over two rooms with lots of non-fiction stock in the back. Possibly a little too dark for my failing eyesight in one of the alcoves!  Wessexman 04.09.21