Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Birnam Reader/BIRNAM/Station Road, Birnam, Perthshire
The Birnam Reader      Open at advertised times
Station Road, Birnam, Perthshire  BIRNAM  PH8 0DS
Open: Wednesday - Friday 10.00 - 6.00, Saturday - Sunday 10.00 - 7.00
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Independent bookshop offering wide range of secondhand books and classical CDs

Caberfeidh Horizons/KINGUSSIE/Social Enterprise Charity Bookshop
Caberfeidh Horizons  Open at advertised times
Social Enterprise Charity Bookshop  16 High Street   KINGUSSIE   PH21 1HR
tel: 01540 661000 
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Situated on the main street, some parking outside. The main room contains a large selection of hardback and paperback fiction, children's books, DVDs and some local interest books which are full price. Two rooms to the side contain non-fiction. The first is mainly stocked with typical charity shop fare, the room to the rear has a good selection of Scottish interest items, classics and some antiquarian books. Shelves are tidy and clearly marked. The pricing policy is £1 for paperbacks and £2 for hardbacks with some special items individually priced.  Booksellerbull 25.03.19

Highflight Books/DINGWALL/2 High Street
Highflight Books   Open at advertised times
2 High Street    DINGWALL  IV15 9HL
tel:  07580 291 856   e-mail
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00
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A specialist stock of 2,000 aviation books including gliding, aviation in the north, military and other aspects of flight and flying. Also a broad range of general non-fiction books on subjects including history, biography, military history, maritime, mountaineering, Scottish and local history.

I have visited Highflight Books on several occasions since it opened and have been impressed with its range of aviation books - as well as books of more general interest. Bill Anderson has a good knowledge of aviation and can assist in finding books related to specific areas of interest. The shop has a friendly informal atmosphere which is conducive to spending time browsing without feeling there is pressure to hurry or to make a purchase I would recommend this shop to anyone with an interest in aviation but also to general readers who are also liklely to find many books of interest.  Tor Justad 09.12.11
Currently in a complete state of flux with books all over the floor rather than on the shelves, all due to recent dry rot repairs. Some extremely interesting titles to be found whilst rummaging though, so patience rewarded. Plenty of non-aviation related titles so worth a look and the owner is very friendly.  Graeme Rendall 30.09.19

Highland Bookshop/FORT WILLIAM/60 High Street
The Highland Bookshop  Open at advertised times
60 High Street   FORT WILLIAM   PH33 6AH
tel: 01397 705931  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 8.00, Sunday 11.00 - 5.00.
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The Highland Bookshop's secondhand selection is a curated mixture of outdoor, Mountaineering nature, a small selection of antiquarian and burgeoning Scottish history and fiction selection of titles. Books are taken in by appointment or if staff member Kelsey is here and available.

The secondhand department is upstairs in an excellent bookshop which, not surprisingly, is strong on Scottish interest books and outdoor pursuits. This is also true of the secondhand books but there is also a good selection of fiction, history, biography and travel. Very reasonably priced, I picked up a historical biography for £1.95, a book about working in a secondhand bookshop (!) for £3.95 and my husband found a history of a shipping company for £4.95. Worth a visit if you’re in Fort William, we managed to see a steam train too!   HB  14.07.22

Leakey_s Bookshop  /INVERNESS/Greyfriars Hall  Church Street  
Leakey's Bookshop    Open at advertised times
Greyfriars Hall  Church Street    INVERNESS  IV1 1EY
tel:  01463 239947  e-mail   
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.30.
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Over 100,000 books in stock

A general stock of perhaps 100,000 books and, according to some, the largest secondhand bookshop in Scotland - although it's owner, Charles Leakey, is the first to admit that: "size isn't everything".  TBG 
This ex-church has transformed nicely into a place of earthly promise. A huge stock of books and prints, with the comforting scent of coffee brewing in the choir stalls above, offer immediate sensual gratification rather than a vague promise of unspecified delights in the afterlife. The fire and brimstone of past preachers is replaced by something you don't expect to see in the middle of 100,000 books - a roaring log fire (possibly a useful place to dispose of superfluous stock, I wish I had one.) I very much like to browse in warmth with the promise of coffee or a bowl of heartening soup on hand when I flag, therefore all my needs for comfort and well-being are met here.  Carol Argyris 
What can I add about this excellent shop that hasn't already been said? A short walk from the main Inverness shopping area, it would certainly give the largest of the Glasgow and Wigtown shops a run for their money in size. It is well laid out and despite the huge amount of books and prints, retains a spacious atmosphere. The mezzanine level, reached by a large circular metal staircase, is mainly a café/coffee shop which, unlike Books and Beans in Aberdeen, complements rather than interferes with the rest of the shop.  Jeremy Briggs 
There is a remarkable sense of arrival here: mouth-watering display cabinets in the porch and beyond the door a great galleried cavern of books awaits. This is a shop that weaves it's magic slowly. The longer you linger and browse, the better the books get. Disappointed at no coffee; perhaps the cafe is just a weekend thing?  TravellingLibrary 18.07.15
Just as a rider to the above comment, I understand from the proprietor that the cafe closed last year. Such a shame. But all is not lost: you can fuel up with coffee at Sunset Cafe opposite, in one of Inverness' most historic buildings.  TravellingLibrary 15.08.15
Large stock and a welcome real fire in an impressive interior, the shop being on the edge of the city centre. Prices varied (some books a little overpriced) but my two purchases were good value.  SteveBrissle 04.05.17
Well a couple of days after visiting Barter Books I feel better at appraising very large bookshops. This one claims only 100,000 books and that seems realistic, making Barter's claimed 350,000 look optimistic.

The cafe is long gone but the open log-burner was in action and welcome on a cold spring Inverness day. First impressions; fiction is carefully selected, with large crime, SF, classics and more unusual modern novels and none of the mass market paperbacks that bulk up lower end shops. On the highest level of the shop is a spacious and elegant display of modern firsts and more important books.

The non-fiction was rather patchy. Quality was OK but subjects were very unevenly stocked. Very little science and medicine. Huge transport section.

Arrangement and indexing were not good. A photography section was claimed to exist but I found a mere handful together at the end of the (admittedly huge) arts section, others randomly hidden amongst the painters and sculptors. They seem to make do with a small fraction of Barter Books' staffing levels which would explain this. But then prices were better than there, though more than some.
  Adrian 10.04.22
I agree with Adrian (10.04.22) that the arrangement and indexing is somewhat haphazard. There is plenty of interest to be found but you may have to work to find it and when you have tracked down something of interest you may end up putting it back on the shelf as being too expensive. It may be that I am setting my budget too low and if I had come across that elusive title that fills a key gap in my collection I would have paid up and been glad to but all I found were books that might (possibly, perhaps) have been interesting and on which I would have taken a punt if they were half the price. But I enjoyed browsing and while I would not make a detour to return will gladly go back if ever I am in the city again.  Steven 23.04.22

Logie Steading Bookshop/FORRES/Logie Steading Visitor Centre
Logie Steading Bookshop  Open at advertised times
Logie Steading Visitor Centre  Dunphail   FORRES   IV36 2QN
tel: 01309 611373  e-mail  web 
Open:  Every day 10.30 - 5.00 March - Christmas. Please phone 01309 611373 for opening hours and days in January & February.
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Secondhand Stock of around 20,000 in a wide range of subjects & prices. Emphasis on quality. Rural location with super cafe, gallery, textile craft, antique country furniture & plant/farm shop.

Spacious and bright premises with a large general stock,catering for all reading tastes. Good on Scottish antiquarian books and nature and wildlife.Has a wall of Folio books too.About 10 mins off main Inverness to Aberdeen road and well worth the small detour.  Allan Campbell 
Logie Steading itself is a 1920s Model Farm which has been converted into an arts and crafts enclave in a wooded valley south of Forres. One of the units is a large bookshop which from the outside looks like it has been converted from the stable block, not that you would guess that from the smart, well laid out interior. The large Scottish section has an entire room virtually to itself and the shop also has a large military history and aviation section. Worth visiting around lunchtime to sample the food in the café opposite.  Jeremy Briggs 
To update the previous comments - I have been the owner since 2006. bookshop is in former cow byre. Folio and military history sections now much reduced but others have expanded! Cafe in new and bigger premises. Specialist whisky & wine shop as of 2014. Now two art galleries plus craft workshops. Open air theatre events in Summer. Bookshop included a room entirely of Scottish books. Books of all ages and for all ages! River walks by the Findhorn & playground.  Helen Trussell (owner) 10.03.14
The steading is a little off the beaten track, but well WAD. Five rooms of excellent, affordable priced, stock are ample to beguile the visitor for an hour or two. I found so much of interest I had to replace the winnowings on the shelves, and still came away with a good haul! Lunch at the popular cafe across the yard completed a most enjoyable visit.  TravellingLibrary 15.08.15

Mallaig Secondhand Bookshop/MALLAIG/Morrison Building
Mallaig Secondhand Bookshop  Phone before travelling
Morrison Building  Station Road   MALLAIG   PH41 4PY
Open:  Unknown
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Situated in the Morrison Building opposite the railway station, two rooms the first containing paperbacks and DVDs. The second room is full of non-fiction including Scottish history, transport and military. The Morrison building also has a café and toilets. Several car parks nearby although spaces can be at a premium during the summer.  Booksellerbull 12.08.19
A charity shop, supporting a hostel elsewhere in the building. 'Open Seven Days' according to a sign on the door but I did visit during the Easter holidays. Everything in Mallaig seems to be geared around the arrival of the Jacobite steam train so chances are that if the trains is running the shop will be open as well but I would not risk a special journey on the off-chance. (However, the Fort William to Mallaig line is one of the great rail journeys so rail enthusiasts won't mind.) Good mix of stock including some new / remaindered titles. Strong on transport in general and railways in particular but plenty of other subjects covered and a good mix of fiction titles. Certainly worth a visit if you are in town but it is a long way to go on the off-chance that the bookshop is open. Lots of places to eat within walking distance.  Steven 23.04.22
Two rooms of books, lots of paperback fiction priced £1- £3, good selection, ideal for the many holiday makers in the area. Also lots of children’s books. Second room non fiction, esp Scottish, railways, shipping, military. It seems every book has been checked online and some of the prices are towards the top end, even if condition not good. Bargain books outside. Worth a browse if in Mallaig, especially as there are so few bookshops in the Highlands. Notices say open 7 days (not sure if this applies in winter) cash only, if no staff pay in adjacent cafe   HB  10.07.23

Old Bookshelf/CAMPBELLTOWN/8 Cross Street
The Old Bookshelf  Open at advertised times
8 Cross Street   CAMPBELLTOWN   PA28 6HU
tel: 01586 551114  web 
Open:  Monday - Fiday 11.00 - 5.00, Saturday 10.00 - 4.00.
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Situated in a quiet street in Campbeltown's historic town center the shop contains around 10,000 titles. Scottish, antiquarian, biography, military, modern firsts, and much more squeeze onto the carefully organised shelves.

Reasonable selection on all subjects, strong on Scottish history and fiction. Not suited to larger customers as the spaces between the shelves are very narrow!  Steven Kelly 08.05.12

Oxfam Shop/OBAN/107/109 George Street
Oxfam Shop  Open at advertised times
107/109 George Street   OBAN   PA34 5NT
tel: 01631 566465  web 
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Not marketed by Oxfam as a dedicated bookshop, this branch has a sizable selection of books and CDs out front. However there is a large 'book room' at the back of the shop which probably has more stock than many of the smaller Oxfam bookshops. Seems a shame not to include it. As far as I'm aware opening hours are standard, but Thursday is late-night opening (to 7pm).  Steven Kelly 06.09.12
Agree with the comments above. There is much of interest to browse here. I came away with two carrier bags of excellent titles.  TravellingLibrary 10.07.15
Good quality stock in separate section of general Oxfam shop. Priced well below normal Oxfam prices.  Gary 31.12.21

Picaresque Books _ Galerie Fantoosh/DINGWALL/55 High Street
Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh  Open at advertised times
55 High Street   DINGWALL   IV15 9HL
tel: 01349 863140  e-mail 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00.
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We have now moved to much larger premises allowing us to stock a range of older and rarer books as well as some locally published New books.These are then complimented by a range of maps as well as local crafts etc.

A bright,spacious shop,with a range of stock to suit all pockets.Friendly owner.  Allan Campbell 26.01.15
The owner was very pleasant and knew his stuff - which was good, as we were from Australia. A very pleasant browse amongst old books. We even bought a few.  Exnavybloke 20.02.15

Pitlochry Railway Station Bookshop/PITLOCHRY/Station Road
Pitlochry Railway Station Bookshop  Open at advertised times
Station Road   PITLOCHRY   PH16 5AN
Open:  Most days 9.00 - 4.30.
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Donated books with all the takings going to five charities.

Wide-ranging, medium-sized stock, well-laid out, excellent prices. If you find what you're after, you'll almost certainly get a bargain.  Steven Kelly 02.07.14
A charming station, beautifully cared for with murals, historic photos, Macfarlanes ironwork and a lively atmosphere due in no small part to this 'Friends of the Station' bookshop. Funds are raised for several charities here. The premises are small but bright and welcoming; the general stock is well-presented. We were offered a welcome cup of tea while we browsed and came away with several items, including the memoirs of an Edwardian lady balloonist! All books are £1 unless otherwise marked, so you are pretty much guaranteed a bargain.  TravellingLibrary 08.08.15

Priory Books /PITLOCHRY/4 West Moulin Road  
Priory Books   Open at advertised times
4 West Moulin Road    PITLOCHRY  PH16 5AD
tel:  01796 470485  e-mail
Open:  November - May: Tuesday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00. June - October: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00.
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General 2nd hand stock of around 5000 books, with an emphasis on Scottish interest, railways and transport. Credit cards accepted. Limited parking outside the shop. Two large pay and display car parks within easy walking distance.

Nice little shop just off the main street and a stones-throw from the station bookshop. Bright and well organised. Main holdings seem to be Scottish books and transport, and a general fiction section. Prices reasonable for the most part. Maps seem a little ambitiously priced.  Steven Kelly 13.03.17

Ron’s Book Bothy/POOLEWE/Button Bothy, Poolewe Village Hall
Ron’s Book Bothy  Open at advertised times
Button Bothy, Poolewe Village Hall  POOLEWE  IV22 2LD
tel:  07900 692765  e-mail   web   
Open: April - October, Monday - Friday 11.00 - 4.00. July & August also Sundays
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Second hand & new books for adults & children, plus maps, book plates & sheet music.

Attic rooms above Poolewe Village Hall, entry through a craft shop (Button Bothy), some books are displayed downstairs in the craft shop. Quite small space, could get crowded. Mostly secondhand, a few new local books. Seasonal opening (April to October) sells via ABE all year. Scottish interest, fiction, older childrens, biography, natural history, maps. Many of the books elderly and run of the mill, nothing very exciting, fiction charity shop level and very few newer titles. Transport section barely 10 books. Lots of old gardening books. All books priced by sticky labels, not always a good idea! Prices reasonable, bought a couple of Scottish interest and a new local guidebook. Probably not worth a detour but if you are passing (Poolewe is on the NC500 and the Bridge Cafe is excellent) worth a look  HB 27.07.22

Tall Tales Bookshop/THURSO/1A Grove Lane
Tall Tales Bookshop  Open at advertised times
1A Grove Lane   THURSO   KW14 8AE
tel: 07900 284488 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00.
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Small general stock with LP records and postcards also on sale.

A good little bookshop with a fair selection of reasonably priced books, and very helpful owner.  Steve Newman 29.08.14
This highly recommended shop, although small, has a diverse and generally good-quality stock. Strong on topography and Scottish history, but some interesting finds are to be had in most areas, including fiction. The owner, who has been selling books in Caithness for close on 40 years now, is very knowledgeable and an all-round decent sort. Prices are about average, but there are bargains to be had if one looks hard enough. Stock turnover is not especially rapid, alas, as trade seems to have slowed a bit in recent years in this far-flung outpost. This is the sort of solid, old-fashioned shop that is regrettably becoming a rarity on the high street, and especially so in the sparsely populated far north. Thurso is a pleasant place to visit, and a trip to this shop, right in the centre of town, is both enjoyable and worthwhile.  Booker T 30.08.23