Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop

Home of Word power Books


What are we?

We are an independent community bookshop and an activist, intersectional, feminist, antiracist, lgbtq+ community space. And in 2020 we were nominated Scotland’s Best Independent Bookshop!

We celebrate diversity of thought and expression, championing voices from the margins.

We house 10,000 titles across most genres, from politics, history, fiction and travel writing to Children’s books, tattoo art and cookery. We are particularly passionate about radical, left wing and Scottish politics, intersectional feminism, revolutionary history, environmentalism, LGBT+ writing, poetry and translated fiction.

In normal times we are open 7 days a week and have a vibrant year-round program of events, with one or two events a week as well as our regular book groups. Our big calendar highlights are the two big festivals we run, the Book Fringe in August and the Radical Book Fair in November. Check out our Events page, or sign up to our newsletter for all the latest news.

Currently the bookshop is closed to browsers, but we continue to pour our energies into a bookish digital Life Raft for our readers, and post out books from the shelves and our online shop!

Our History

There has been a bookshop on West Nicolson Street for over 30 years – the Lighthouse is a new incarnation of the Word Power bookshop Elaine Henry opened here in 1994. We are still home to Word Power Books, an independent Scottish publisher.

Who are we?

We are an eclectic, slightly eccentric literary ratpack, a chosen family of bookish people, all of us passionate about making the world a fairer, better place. Meet our booksellers on our Team page.