Supporting Edinburgh's Independent Bookshops during Covid-19

by Rebecca Raeburn
Communications, Edinburgh
City of Literature Trust

27 April 2020

Edinburgh's Independent Bookshops are an integral part of our literary city, and so we've compiled a list of their activity so that we can make sure we support them through these challenging times.

With the ongoing developments regarding Covid-19, Edinburgh’s independent bookshops are doing what they can to keep themselves and their readers afloat.

From live author events to gift-cards, from book recommendations to book delivery, we've pulled together some of the activity of the city's bookshops during this time.

We will continue to keep this page up-to-date, and will stay connected with Edinburgh’s bookshops. Please contact us on if there’s anything we have missed that we can add to our list.

Open for Book Orders and Deliveries

Armchair Books: are running no-contact delivery in Edinburgh with their Books By Cycle, as well as worldwide postal delivery. Hop on to their website, browse their excellent collection of books, and place your order. You can contact them on

Edinburgh Books: Edinburgh Books continue to sell online through AbeBooks. They also have an ongoing ‘lockdown list’ for reading suggestions to carry readers through lockdown.

The Edinburgh Bookshop: They are open to orders, either via email on or on the phone on 0131 447 1917. Deliveries can be made to the door in Edinburgh, or they are able to post orders further afield.

Golden Hare Books: You can browse their online shop, and books can be delivered or collected contact-free in store from 10am–6pm. To arrange a collection, call 0131 225 7755.

Lighthouse Books: You can shop online or call the store to order books and arrange your delivery. You can reach them on 0131 662 9112.

McNaughton’s Bookshop: McNaughton’s are open for online enquiries and are offering free delivery for UK residents.

Till’s Bookshop: Till’s Bookshop are temporarily providing mystery book packages for delivery and are available to give book recommendations. Contact them via phone on 0131 667 0895 or email

Toppings and Company Booksellers: You can order books online, with the option of a no-contact pick-up from their store, postage, or delivery by hand and bike. Call them on 0131 546 4202 to arrange your order.

Transreal Fiction: Transreal are offering a free delivery service within the city. You can email or call the store on 0131 226 6266. Leave your name and contact number, and they’ll give you a call back to have a chat about what you're looking for.

Events and Initiatives

Lighthouse Books: Lighthouse are running #LighthouseLifeRaft on Twitter. This is a space for author Q&As, bookseller recommendations, reading, spotlights on debuts by BAME, queer, and disabled local writers, and more. Lighthouse are also running the Virtual Women in Translation Book Club.

Portobello Bookshop: On the 10th April, Portobello Bookshop took part in #IndiesRecommend on Twitter, led by Faber Books. They provided lots of personalised book recommendations, so do have a look on Twitter to see whether there’s anything you fancy reading.

Toppings and Company Booksellers: To keep readers going through lockdown, Toppings have regularly been publishing blogs featuring authors and their reading recommendations.

Discounts and Gift-Cards

Armchair Books: digital gift vouchers are available at Armchair Books, which you can purchase online and redeem via email/telephone order.

Golden Hare Books: There is free shipping for Edinburgh residents. For those further afield, you can use code NEW NORMAL for free shipping on orders over £40. Golden Hare are also now offering gift-cards.

McNaughton’s Bookshop: McNaughton’s are another independent store now selling gift-cards for customers to redeem when the shop reopens.

Portobello Bookshop: Whilst their online shop has had to close temporarily as their distributors are no longer in operation, Portobello Bookshop are still offering gift-cards which can be collected and redeemed when they reopen.

Toppings and Company Booksellers: You can receive a posted book voucher in the post, which can be used when the bookshop is able to reopen. Alternatively, you can receive a collection code over the phone which can then be redeemed.