Independent bookstores delivering during the lockdown in Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Deborah Chu
- 23 April 2020
Escape into the pages of a good book and support these indie booksellers doing delivery and no-contact collection
Everyone's got a list: you know which one we mean. War and Peace is probably on there; maybe a few Orwells you blagged your way through during uni. Now that we're staying inside for the foreseeable, it's the perfect time to have a crack at a title in your reading queue, so that you'll never have to lie about having read The Brothers Karamazov at a party ever again (when parties come back, that is).
But in all seriousness, as the lockdown continues, a good book can offer insight, calm, humour or even just a moment of sweet escapism from the madness. And rather than give your money to faceless multinationals, why not support your friendly neighbourhood bookseller instead? These local shops knit together our communities, and the knowledge and enthusiasm of the people who work in them bring so much to the cultural life of our cities. Below are some of the independent booksellers in Edinburgh and Glasgow offering delivery or contactless pick-up, helping us keep curious and connected during this strange time.
Golden Hare Books
Stockbridge gem Golden Hare have an incredibly well-stocked online bookshop to browse through, so it's easy to discover what they've got on-hand. Their staff are doing non-contact local deliveries on Saturdays for online orders, or postings via Royal Mail if you're a bit farther away. If they haven't got the title you're looking for, they're also very happy to order it for you. Do take advantage of the expertise of their booksellers and ring them up for some recommendations – there'll be someone in the shop to take your call from Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.
Visit Golden Hare Books' online shop
Edinburgh's radical community indie bookshop also has an online shop for you to peruse, showcasing their excellent selection of politically-engaged, socially-conscious reads, ranging from fiction and graphic novels to poetry and LGBTQ+ writing. They've got a lucky dip option, for those with an open mind and a sense of adventure, and they've also added a pay-it-forward scheme for kids books, for those able to help out struggling families with children during this difficult time. Their Women in Translation Book Club is also still going strong over on Zoom, so do join in and indulge in some good book chat with your fellow literary lovers. All deliveries will be dispatched via Royal Mail.
Visit Lighthouse Bookshop's online shop
The wonderful Typewronger Books are offering delivery on any book you desire, for a minimum spend of £6.99. Just pop them an email and they'll get it sorted for you. You can also give them a ring any day and any time between noon and 8pm if you're needing a bit of guidance, as well as email and Facebook messenger. They're also happy to set up a Skype date 'if you just fancy a chat'. They've also launched a new YouTube Channel and are hosting monthly virtual open mic nights.
Order from Typewronger Books
Topping & Company Booksellers
Topping & Company have an excellent online catalogue for those with a book already in mind, as well as curated collections on various subjects and themes on their website. All orders will be sent out via post, or if you live locally, you can ring up the shop and arrange for a safe no-contact collection from the shop during their opening hours.
Visit Topping & Company's online shop
Unfortunately, beloved secondhand bookshop Till's does not have an online shop; however, they have been in the book game since 1986, so they know a thing or two about a good read. According to their Facebook, they're happy to look out for specific books, or send out mystery book packages for those in need of some good old fashioned literary escapism; just ring them or pop them an email.
Order from Till's Bookshop
Category Is Books
Southside's fiercely proud LGBTQ+ bookshop are still running book deliveries to keep us sharp, passionate and primed for change once this outbreak is over. Just pop them an email with a list of what you'd like, and they'll send you an online payment link. Their pay-it-forward shelf is also still open, so those who've been left a bit cash-strapped by the lockdown can still order books to help them get through these uncertain times.
Order from Category Is Books
Once the pandemic is over, get ready to eat the rich with some help from volunteer-run radical bookshop Calton Books, who are providing a mail-only service. They've got plenty of fascinating tomes available for those looking to brush up on their knowledge of socialism, labour movements, working class history and political philosophy.
Visit Calton Books' online shop
Another volunteer-run bookshop and art space, Good Press is dedicated to indie presses with a focus on visual arts and writing, so they're an ideal resource if you're looking for a good read that's off the beaten path. Good Press have got a wide range of books, comics and zines to browse through on their online shop, and they're fulfilling orders once a week on Wednesdays. They're also still running their monthly subscription service, with varying price points to suit every pandemic budget, so you can keep the goodies rolling.
Visit Good Press' online shop
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