Inspiring Older Readers

posted on 27 Aug 2016

Calton Books, Glasgow

When I know I’m going to a city I haven’t visited before, I always try and do a bit of homework on where the bookshops are to be found – especially the second hand ones. Occasionally, a small independent can slip through the net unnoticed and this can result in missing out on something delightful – and this was so nearly the case with Calton Books which is located on the London Road.

I do love a bit of serendipity however and so I was completely thrilled to stumble on this excellent shop by complete accident. We were heading across to the People’s Palace and wanted to drop in on the historic Barras market which promised book stalls ( there were some - but what a depressing experience they were). However, the trip was saved because we had to pass Calton Books and we took the opportunity to drop in.

The shop is a lovely mix of political books – domestic and international – with originally designed tee-shirts and a range of fabulous lapel badges. We also got chance to chat about all sorts of things with the charming Elaine ( I really hope I’ve remembered your name correctly – old men have notoriously poor memories for things like this). She was able to tell us that the tees and the badges were created by her partner and he is a real aficionado of the Spanish Civil War and the Republican cause.

The shop isn’t big and so I suspect they have to make some quite careful decisions about what  they can stock. They didn’t have any children’s books but I hope we made a good case for why they should – a shelf full of progressive children’s stock would certainly add a dimension to their current offering.

This is just the kind of small independent bookshop it would be great to see in all our communities – a place of ideas, inspiration and progressive values. Do try and get along to support them if you’re paying Glasgow a visit and even if you don’t find any books you want, I defy you leave without at least one of their fabulous badges.


Terry Potter

August 2016