Earlier this week I discovered that the innovative bookstore/coffee-shop in Edinburgh's Quartermile had... well, it had closed. Its owner Gillian Robertson is still out there – she's judging the Saltire Society's Publisher of the Year – but it's not at all clear if, when or where Looking Glass Books is going to re-open. There's nothing on their website, but events being advertised relate to 2015.
I think that leaves Edinburgh with just three true indie bookstores:
But in general I suspect that unless a bookshop is prepared to stock more than the standard bestsellers, it's doomed to fall prey to the big boys such as W. H. Smith and Waterstones, or even to the supermarkets. Little independent bookshops need to try and stock small local publishers and local authors to show that they're a little different. Edinburgh is lucky that most of our smaller shops – and also the excellent Edinburgh Blackwell's Scottish room – are aware of the need to have their own special identity.