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Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop

Home of Word power Books

Life Raft

With all this chaos and upheaval we’ll still be sending virtual bookshop vibes into the world by creating & sharing original digital content. This will be your lifeline to the bookshop’s community spirit while in isolation - we may have shut the doors, but we are still very much here!

We’re calling our digital bookshop refuge the Lighthouse Life Raft and you’re all welcome aboard.

The #LighthouseLifeRaft will essentially be a collection of author interviews, videos, bookseller recommends & readings, blog pieces and special spotlights on debut books & new releases. As ever we’re especially excited to champion by working class, BAME, queer, disabled & local writers who will be hard hit by publicity & event disruptions.

We’ll pin the weekly newsletters here - or you can get them direct to your inbox by signing up HERE.

The newsletters will include a round up of the posts across twitter, instagram and facebook, so you can pick your fave form of consumption, and keep up the community contact throughout this pesky plague.

Authors involved are as varied as Samantha Clark, Lola Olufemi, Pragya Agarwal, Dan Richards, Gemma Milne, Leaf Arbuthnott, Jemma Neville, Haleh Agar, Golnoosh Nour and Kirstin Innes, and that’s just the start of the adult list!

Your own reviews/thoughts/community sign posting are always welcome, so use the hashtag #LighthouseLifeRaft so we can find you too!


Life Raft I : SAMANTHA CLARK ON THE THINGS WE CANNOT KNOW (Interview & video readings, & the newsletter HERE)

Life Raft 2: ON ISOLATION & GRAPHIC NOVELS (A bookseller blog HERE & the newsletter HERE)

Life Raft 3: Four Feminists Aboard! Featurning Alison Phipps, Golnoosh Nour, Haleh Agar, Pragya Agarwal and the brand new Lucky Dip!

Life Raft 4: Science & Tech journalist Gemma Milne on cutting through hype & headlines and a wee feature on indie presses.

Life Raft 5: Reflections on Ramadan, community & escapist Fiction, featuring Stephanie Scott!

Life Raft 6: Candice Brathwaite on making motherhood diverse, Leaf Arbuthnot on queer fiction and isolation.


The Lighthouse Life Raft offers our booksellers the opportunity to get creative and be bookish and brilliant whilst working from home. These are uneasy times (!!) for those of us in retail, and as a bookshop that’s embedded in our community we’re keen to do whatever we can to support each other and the publishing ecosystem as long as possible.

If you can afford to buy the books we’re shouting about please please do - we’ll have live links for all of them in the online shop and we’ll accept all your other book orders to boot you can just send us an email with titles and we’ll send you a payment link and dispatch! The online shop is being populated with stock as we go, so bear with us as it evolves!

If you are in a position to chip into our ‘pay-it-forward- wall for those who can’t afford the books and are in particularly tough straights while libraries are closed, you can buy vouchers HERE.


If you are a publisher bringing out a new book in these weird times and you think your author would fit in with Life Raft festivities, please do get in touch with mairi by emailing books@lighthousebookshop.com subject line Life Raft Author!

This is a new initiative and it is evolving every day, as we learn more, have new ideas, make new connections etc. It won’t be perfect and we expect the unexpected, so clamber aboard for the adventure and the people, rather than the smooth sailing!