Thistle Books (and Alba Musick) in Glasgow: Gallery

Until December last year, I’d always assumed from online reviews that Thistle Books was too small to take seriously. It seemed unlikely that there could be much to a bookshop that shared its premises with a music bookshop. For a long time I also managed to walk past it without realising. I recently overcame these errors to find an intelligently stocked gem. Thistle is one of those shops that comes up with things you’ll rarely see on the secondhand market. It also comes up with things you’ve long considered exploring. Note that the shop will direct you to nearby Caledonia Books if you can’t find what you’re looking for (which is a mutual arrangement). Although there are lighter reads, Thistle’s USP is affordable gravitas. Here’s a glimpse inside:

I have secondhand bookshop days out in Glasgow. My first stop is always Kelvinbridge. There’s a range of bars and cafés where you can browse your purchases. The easiest route to Thistle is to go to Kelvinbridge Subway, cross the bridge, head for Otago Street, and it’s 2 minutes walk down there. Crucial point: look for the signed alleyway on your left. See my old post about secondhand bookshops in the area for more gen. After Thistle, I go to the nearby and equally excellent Caledonia Books – gallery forthcoming. Here’s a map:

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10 Responses to Thistle Books (and Alba Musick) in Glasgow: Gallery

  1. roughghosts says:

    Secondhand bookshops here are mostly a dismal affair—my favourte is actually the basement of my favourite independent bookshop. And what a fine collection of purchases too.


    • Jeff says:

      There’s been a lot of casualties to the Internet. It’s hard to make money from secondhand books, and the ones that have survived, thankfully, have supported the more serious reader. There aren’t a great deal to choose from in the UK, so I doubt Canada’s exceptional. What we British call a ‘postcode lottery’. I tend to co-ordinate secondhand bookshop pilgrimages with visits elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah says:

    Nice finds. I’m on a self-imposed book-buying ban this year so I’ve greatly enjoyed that little moment of vicarious browsing, thanks!


    • Jeff says:

      Aye, if I didn’t buy anything for a year I’d still have plenty to read. Might be moving home later this year, so as the Irish say, that’ll be a good one.


  3. What a beautiful looking shop and what wonderful finds. The Penguin Modern Classics shelf would be irresistible. And treats in store with the Lem books!


    • Jeff says:

      I think you can open the individual photos to a slightly larger size to read some of the spines. It’s a nice place to spend time. The necessary travel to get to these places makes it silly not to relax and take some time once there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ste J says:

    It’s nice to see some space saved for literary criticism, it is always worth a look and one of the first places I gravitate too when I can find it. The local bookshop near me has just started offering tea and cake as well as putting in some comfy chairs and a a wood burner…I could spend all day in there.


  5. Pingback: Caledonia Books, Glasgow – Gallery | Recent Items

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