Armchair Books
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Open daily 10:00 - 18:30 at West Port

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ABOUT US

Very nearly alphabetised chaos

Armchair Books ekes out its intense and blustery existence on Edinburgh’s hallowed West Port…ancient home of booksellers. In view of the castle, above the Grassmarket, it bakes under the torrid Scottish sun. The dangers are manifold; our overburdened shelves groan like masts in a squall, our threadbare and quasi-oriental rugs may distractingly catch the eye or foot. Books in the window may spontaneously burst into flames, and the Managers must be kept locked in at all times… Sporadically under feeble but sinister attack by the government, we struggle under goad of Fear, towards Beauty.

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Location and Opening Hours

Smell the old books for yourself…

Come visit us at:

72-74 West Port
Edinburgh
EH1 2LE

Open daily from 10:00 to 18:30

We are closed on the following days during the festive season:
Tuesday 25 December 2018
Wednesday 26 December 2018
Tuesday 01 January 2019

We are open on Monday 24 December as usual, but may close a few hours early (subject to how busy the shop is).

A note on accessibility: We want everyone to feel welcome at Armchair Books! Like so many shops in Edinburgh, we are situated in a very old building that was unfortunately not built with the full range of human mobility variations in mind. If you have any questions about accessibility, please do not hesitate to contact us—we’d love to help get you in amongst the books!

 

selling books

Too many books? We can help.

Whether you’ve got 5 books or 500, we may be happy to purchase some of your collection and help them find a new home. Here’s how it works:

If you have 20 or fewer ‘new’ books (circa 1940s onward)

We invite you to come by the shop during opening hours, when staff will be happy to have a look at your collection. Please allow at least 20 minutes for your visit (though it can take longer during busy periods). Regrettably, lack of storage space means we cannot typically allow you to leave boxes of books with us to review.

If you have 20 or more ‘new’ books (circa 1940s onwards) or rare/highly valuable books of any age/quantity

Please email us a high-quality image of your books, spines out—all lined up on a bookshelf is perfect. (Photographs from most modern smart phones are acceptable. Please ensure titles on spines are legible.) This will allow us to make a provisional offer on your books before you bring them in.

If your books are especially unusual, we may request more detailed photos. If you cannot provide a photo, a list of books—titles, authors, and ISBNs—is also acceptable, though it can take us substantially more time to process such requests.

We are a small team working as fast as we can and we get quite a lot of emails from people selling books, so please note it can take up to 10 days for a response. We appreciate your patience.

If you have so many books you don’t even know where to start (approximately 200 or more books)

If you live in/around Edinburgh (accessible via public transit) and have shelves full of books needing re-homing, we may be happy to arrange a visit to your house. Please email us with some details about your collection (e.g., age, genre, language, quantity) and we will respond as soon as we can to set up a visit.

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As a small shop with limited space, we regret we cannot accept drop-offs of large quantities of books and are only able to accept books we believe we can resell. We are unable to dispose of unwanted books.

 
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Contact us

Get in touch

Questions? Contact us via email hello@armchairbooks.co.uk for enquiries regarding:

We also begrudgingly answer the phone:
+44 (0)131 229 5927

We are a small, family-run business and our staff are often busy helping customers in the shop. As such, we regret that we cannot always answer detailed questions via telephone or that our email responses may take a few days.

We always do our best to help as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience when we’re trapped under a mountain of dusty old tomes.

We don’t respond to enquiries via social media. We’re there for the senseless banter and the spritely exchange of gifs, and we expect you to bring your A game.

Follow us on Twitter:

 
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Working At Armchair Books

One of us! One of us!

We do not currently have any vacancies, but if any become available they will be posted here and on Twitter.

Armchair Books is staffed by Edinburgh’s finest book people who brave the shop’s untraceable noises and unique microclimate to help you find ‘that blue book with the gold writing on the spine, possibly a drawing of an elephant or a tornado on the cover’. Each member of our team brings a wealth of knowledge to the shop—as artists or designers or students of fascinatingly obscure stuff—so please feel free to ask us questions about our favourite books or sections in the shop.

A note about internships and employment: Armchair Books is a partnership jointly owned and managed by Jaclyn Kaye and Andrew Govan-Prini. We are proud to be an accredited Living Wage Employer. We categorically do not employ unpaid interns or age-rate staff wages as we believe these to be unethical business practices.