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The Best Bookstores in St. Andrews
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The Best Bookstores in St. Andrews

Picture of Samantha Evans
Updated: 11 October 2016
St. Andrews maybe tiny, but being a university town does have its benefits. If the three streets that form the main part of town are filled with adorable cafés, it’s the six bookstores, two university libraries, one public library, as well as the book-selling charity shops that really matter.
A sourced image: Toppings Shop Front | Courtesy Toppings Books
A sourced image: Toppings Shop Front | Courtesy Toppings Books
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Topping & Company Booksellers

Topping & Company Booksellers, considered by The Telegraph to be one of Britain’s top independent bookshops, is the most recent bookstore to open in St. Andrews, having only arrived in 2014. Owned by Robert & Louise Topping, St. Andrews is one of three Topping bookshops. It is gorgeous, with tall bookshelves filled with the latest releases, many of them signed by the authors. They have cozy couches and tables to sit and read at, as well as a large selection of poetry collections and history books. The staff is very helpful and friendly, and they often offer free tea and coffee. They also host readings and signings; Alexander McCall-Smith read in December, and award winning investigative reported and Independent journalist Joanna Blythman is visiting on March 4th. Don Paterson & Jacob Polley will be joined by Annie Freud for their first monthly Poetry Night on April 7th. Lots to look forward to and they are open until 7:30pm, even on Sunday.

Topping & Company Booksellers, 7 Greyfriars Garden, St Andrews, Scotland, KY16 9HG

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Bouquiniste

Bouquiniste is a treasure. Just off of the town’s main street, Bouquiniste is a family owned dealer of rare and second hand books open since 1982. From booklets of Fife, to maps and travel guides from the 1800s, to rare copies of Peter Pan, Bouquiniste has a fascinating range of books. They also sell fiction and have a great history and poetry section.

Bouquiniste, 31 Market Street, St Andrews, Scotland, KY16 9NS, 01334 476724

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Waterstones

Waterstones — in case you don’t know it — is one of the UK’s largest booksellers. Right in the middle of town, Waterstones sells a wide selection of local interest books about Fife, golf, current events, and Scotland, as well as the latest releases, quirky book-related gifts, and a huge children’s section. They also have a few chairs here and there to sample a book. Waterstones also has readings and signings, with free wine or juice.

Waterstones, 101-103 Market Street, St Andrews, Scotland, KY16 9NX, 0843 290 8603

A Creative Commons image: Church Street, St Andrews, Fife | © SwaloPhoto/Flickr
J & G Innes | © SwaloPhoto/Flickr
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J & G Innes

J & G Innes, opened in 1927, is a family run independent bookshop, gift shop, and stationers. They have a large gift department selling cards, gift wrap, games, and even soft toys to go along with your favourite books. They have local authors read in their collaborations with Zest Café, as well as stocking the local authors’ books, and they also sell literary magazines and a variety of newspapers. J & G Innes is a great place to find books for children as well as postcards and unique Scottish books to take home to your family and friends.

J & G Innes, 107 South Street, St Andrews, Scotland, KY16 9QW, 01334 472174

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Barnardo’s Bookshop

Barnardo’s Bookshop offers a fantastic selection of books at affordable prices, and is the perfect place for students or bookworms to pick up a bargain price. They have a variety of books, and are a great place to buy second hand textbooks, as well as rare books. The shop is crowded full of books, and is fun to scavenge through and find second hand treasures.

Barnardo’s, 43 Bell Street, St Andrews, Scotland KY16 9UR, 01334 479624

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Blackwell’s

Blackwell’s is located in the University of St. Andrews Students Union, and focuses on selling academic, professional, and specialist books, as well as quirky literary gifts. They stock most of the textbooks for University courses, with a few second hand copies. If they don’t have it in stock, and it is in their online store, you can order it and pick it up from the store within the next two days.

Blackwell’s, Students Union, St. Mary’s Place, St. Andrews, Scotland, KY16 9UZ, 01334 476367