Glasgow’s top independent bookshops

Book shop 2

Alice Dingle
Deputy Culture Editor – Books

Finding a good read is more than just following your set reading list and hoping for the best.  The Glasgow Guardian has done its research and found the best independent bookshops in Glasgow that offer atmosphere, originality and an abundance of hidden literary gems.

Voltaire and Rousseau
12-14 Otago Ln, Glasgow G12 8PB

Voltaire and Rousseau, a short three minute walk from the GUU, is organised by genre; the shelves and floor are stacked to the ceiling with second-hand books. Whist it’s nearly impossible to find a particular book, it is the ultimate place to discover a new title. Here you’ll find gems like 1920s editions of Rudyard Kipling’s leather-bound novels for £3.50 each. The cheapest of the shops in this article, the bookshop’s sections for history, poetry and classics are by far the most impressive.

Thistle Books
55 Otago St, Glasgow G12 8PQ

Thistle Books has an incredible selection of sheet music; organised by instrument, the scores are mostly second-hand but have a wide range of composers and styles. Thistle Books offers more than just music, it also has a dainty used fiction and non-fiction section. You won’t find many early editions, but the bookshop does have have a number of full series’ of more contemporary fiction. The shop’s excellent essay section deserves a mention; if you are in need of more obscure literary, political or historical criticism then Thistle Books is here to help.

Caledonia Books
483 Great Western Rd, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow G12 8HL

With its winding staircases and dark wooden bookcases, Caledonia Books is by far the most beautiful and atmospheric bookshop in Glasgow. Full of historical and fictional classics, it is the epitome of Scottish heritage. The first editions in the shop are in excellent condition and date back to 200 years ago, but can be a bit on the pricey side. A big plus however is the bookshop’s miscellaneous section where you’ll be able to find all manner of gems, such as 150-year-old Scottish etiquette books. It’s a perfect spot for Scottish literature and history students.

Aye Aye Books
350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD

Aye-Aye is part of the Contemporary Centre of Arts on Sauchiehall Street. Instead of first editions of books or cracked leather-bound fiction, Aye-Aye offers a comprehensive selection of contemporary art books and the latest in philosophy. This bookshop proves useful for art and philosophy students looking for something more cutting-edge. Even though the space is small, the selection changes frequently and is worthy revisiting every time you explore the gallery.