About The Guide

Hello! We are Sonja and Ivan. And this is our Bookstore Guide - an amateur guide to book shopping throughout Europe. We hope this Guide will help you find the book(stores) you are looking for. Unfortunately, the bookstores are no longer uploaded and may be out of date

Stromness Books and Prints, Stromness

stromness books and prints logo
Where? Stromness, Orkney, Scotland

Recommended by:
Kirsty C L Smith

Kirsty said: "Ok, the percentage of your readers venturing as far as Stromness, in Orkney, UK is probably quite low, but it's got a pretty good bookshop. Stromness Books and Prints, run by Tam McPhail, has a fairly eclectic selection of books. It just about accepts the need to stock some best sellers, but it is with reluctance - there is a much better selection of non-fiction and classic novels, which, to my mind, is all to the good, and, of course, a great selection of norse myths, sagas, all things on Orkney etc. It is a tiny store, and be warned, he does not accept cards, so it's cash or cheque. He'll order anything you want him to. This bookshop has been in place for as long as I've been going to Orkney (43 years and counting) and has never failed to temp me into buying something I really don't need - which I consider to be an important bonus in a bookshop - even if my Bank Manager may not agree. Definitely worth a visit if you are in Orkney."

As for the number of Bookstore Guide's visitors traveling to or through Stromness, we have our doubts as well. However, we're pretty sure that Stromness Books and Prints (also known as J.L. Broom Bookseller - as it was founded by John L. Broom, who no longer owns it) is a great independent bookshop and those always have their place in the Guide, regardless of their position on the map of Europe. Moreover, quality bookstores are only more valued and cherished by the local community if they are to be found in smaller towns or in more remote places, where they slowly become a solid presence in the lives of the locals. Stromness Books and Prints has achieved this status during several decades of its existence.

How can an independent bookstore survive in a town of less than 2500 inhabitants for such a long time? From what we managed to find out, the answer is - by keeping it simple. The bookseller has accepted the limitations of a small town and made Stromness Books and Prints the perfect bookstore for the local community. No additional marketing activities are necessary, no interior designer was consulted (though there were some necessary investments like the new counter and a bigger parking lot) and no complementary services are offered. Stromness Books and Prints is dedicated to one sole goal - providing its customers with a small but satisfying selection of titles - and it fulfills it reliably.

stromness books and printsstromness bookshopStromness Books and Prints
1, Graham Place
Orkney KW16 3BY


Phone and Email:
01856 850 565
no email

Working Hours:

View Stromness Books & Prints in a larger map


Liz Mills said...

I wondered if I'd find this wonderful shop on your site! I never fail to buy something here when I visit Orkney, whether it's another George Mackay Brown volume, some stunning Gunnie Moberg photographs or a book I've hankered after for some time.

The only problem with the shop? You need plenty of time to browse; it may be small but it has a wonderful selection!

Andy R said...

I happened across this delightful bookstore when I was visiting Orkney for the folk festival. This type of store is disappearing in Australia. I snapped up 7 fiction books about local folklore and history for my 9 year old son. He has devoured them....and is now passing them on to the local school library at home.

Carl B said...

It's a continuing delight and satisfaction to find this tiny shop carrying on after so many years of visiting Stromness. Reassuring to see that works by young writers in the Orkney schools are featured and that their inventiveness is recognized.