word-power-books

Our History: Word Power Books

Word Power Books is steeped in history – a bookshop, publisher, and online store, as well as the host of innumerable events, not least the annual august Book Fringe and the autumn’s Radical Book Fair. Launched in 1994 as a little shop in Edinburgh’s southside by Elaine Henry, the last 23 years have earned Word Power a reputation as a stalwart of the left, staunchly, unapologetically political and socially engaged – a place of hope and engagement.

In the 1980s Elaine had worked in a feminist bookshop in Edinburgh named ‘Womanzone’. After Womanzone closed in 1986 she felt there was still a need for a radical bookshop in Edinburgh and so began working towards establishing Word Power. The shop opened in November 1994, with a formal opening in December by Booker Prize winning novelist James Kelman. The Independent & Radical Bookfair was launched in 1996 and ran succesfully for 20 years, it will return in 2017 in a slightly different format, this time being run out of the bookshop.


We believe this legacy is vitally important, and perhaps never more so given today’s political landscape. It is a legacy Elaine entrusted to us to keep alive and that is what we intend to do. We will continue to celebrate diversity of thought and expression, to encourage readers to engage with ideas both from the margins and mainstream. We remain committed to challenging dominant and domineering ideologies and championing ideals such as equality, feminism, environmentalism and free speech.

Some change is inevitable, so for more read our about page!

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