Five best bookshops in Scotland

Forget online, for book shopping, a good old-fashioned bookshop is best. We leaf through the best Scottish bookshops, from second-hand gems to glowing shrines to the modern book.
Young's Interesting Books in Glasgow. Picture: FlickrYoung's Interesting Books in Glasgow. Picture: Flickr
Young's Interesting Books in Glasgow. Picture: Flickr

Leakeys, Inverness

Leakeys is a second hand bookshop inside an old church. In winter they have a log furnace to banish the chills and dry you off as you browse this enormous cavernous bookshop. The floorboards creak, there's the wonderful bookie aroma and there are all sorts of treasures to be found here with a well stocked history section. Upstairs they have a gallery. This is reputedly one of Ali Smith's favourite places.

Toppings, St Andrews

Toppings in St Andrews.Toppings in St Andrews.
Toppings in St Andrews.

Toppings is a luxurious big bookshop in St Andrews adorned with old wooden ladders. Thankfully for indecisive book lovers there is a very comfortable sofa to sit down and decide. They have plenty of brilliant author events going on, with big names coming to this East Neuk nook. The people are very friendly too.

Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh

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Never judge a book by its cover? This is a beautiful bookshop in Stockbridge that celebrates stylish book cover design. They stock the trendiest design and cookery books, the latest in new fiction and non-fiction, and beautifully illustrated children's books. The staff are very friendly and offer free coffee. At the back is a very cosy room with cushions for children to read, where they have Sunday morning Stories. They also have some interesting author events and book groups.

The Bookshop, Wigtown

Leakey's in Inverness.Leakey's in Inverness.
Leakey's in Inverness.

The owner of this bookshop is famous for having shot a Kindle with his gun and for his book, Diary of a Bookseller. It's the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland with over a mile of shelving inside. People come from all over to this glorious old-fashioned bookshop, especially during the Book Festival. Wigtown is full of great bookshops and just round the corner there's the equally brilliant Reading Lasses.

Young's Interesting Books, Glasgow

This is a small and quirky bookshop is a bookworm's dream. With second hand books and a mixture of vintage editions and modern paperbacks, there's an eclectic choice at this shop on Glasgow's southside. It's the ideal bookshop to find an unusual gift and has very helpful staff.