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Culture

10 Lovely Dublin Bookshops That Are Still Delivering During Lockdown

By Jack Saddler

10 Lovely Dublin Bookshops That Are Still Delivering During Lockdown

Support our bookshops.

Maybe you’ve rinsed Netflix dry during the current lockdown. Maybe there’s only so much baking one can do. Or, maybe you’ve finally finished that to-read-pile and are looking for your next whodunnit; your next romantic drama; your next true crime tale. Whatever the reason for turning to the beautiful art of the written word, it doesn’t matter – you don’t need an excuse, really! You’re here now and looking for somewhere to fetch a new title.

And, as you’ll know, Dublin isn’t short of bookshops. But, as you’ll also know, you can’t visit them in person right now. So, dear reader, it is my duty to inform the unaware that you can still support these brilliant local spots through the brilliance of the online delivery.

As the sun finally starts to show its face over Spring, you can sit outside with your newest paperback and absorb the poetic words alongside the bright rays of sunshine.

Here’s ten of Dublin’s best bookshops for you to order from over lockdown.

1. The Village Bookshop

The Village Bookshop is a top spot for new, used, rare and even out-of-print books. They stock specialist titles in Literature, Non-fiction, Irish interest, Rare books, Cookery, History, Art and Spirituality. Plus, their rare section really isn’t one to be sniffed at. Here, you’ll find fascinating titles from photographs of Samuel Beckett to old copies of Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass to books on the classic Irish Pub! Order via their website or by telephone.

2. Ulysses Rare Books

Named after a mammoth title in literature, Ulysses Rare Books has a lot to live up to. And, of course, it delivers in style, stocking some extremely sought-after titles. You might need to take out a loan for some of these, but there are some absolute gems here for lovers of words. In their new arrivals alone, there’s sea of collectables, including a first edition of Seamus Heaney’s Door Into The Dark (€350); a first edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan (€350); and a first edition of The Winding Stair and Other Poems by W.B. Yeats (€850); among many, many more. Order online now.

3. The Winding Stair

One of Dublin’s oldest book shops has opened an online shop, so all your page-turning needs are to be serviced during the pandemic. The shop itself takes its name from a Yeats poem, and was infamous in the 70’s and 80’s and was frequented by famous artists and writers alike. It’s a shame you can’t browse their sections and read in a corner at their residence, but head here to give them some love and yourself a thrilling read.

4. Alan Hanna’s Bookshop

While you cannot enjoy Alan Hanna’s Bookshop in person, with a quiet cup of tea as you flick through the pages of a gem you’ve picked out, there’s plenty to gain from online shopping here. They specialise in Irish literature and can keep you stocked up for eternity with new and second-hand books. You’ll have the option of delivery, or click-and-collect, so it’s time to fill your basket!

5. The Gutter Bookshop

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If Oscar Wilde somehow knew about the 2020-21 lockdown restrictions, then we’d hope he’d still bless us with these words! While life as we know it might be temporarily in the gutter, let’s try and take solace in life’s joys, however small they might be. At the Gutter Bookshop’s site you might pick out a book that has a life-changing impact on you, or just gives you some much-needed comfort in an uneasy period. Keep gazing at those flickering stars.

6. Books Upstairs

Whether you’re after a tale of murder by the like of Patricia Highsmith; a deconstruction of capitalism theory; booker prize nominees and winners; or a Valentine’s Day book bundle — Books Upstairs, going strong after more than four decades, can deliver it right to you. I, for one, cannot wait to set foot inside the famous walls once more, when we’re permitted. Order your next read here.

7. The Company Of Books

While it may be youthful in comparison to some other stalwarts of Dublin’s streets, don’t let the lesser years fool you. Having set up shop in 2009, The Company Of Books has proved its worth by providing excellent stocks of beloved titles. And, you can browse through and see for yourself by heading to their website.

8. Connolly Books 

Dubbed as “Ireland’s Oldest Radical Bookshop”, there’s plenty here for the avid politics fanatic to feast on. Born as a socialist bookshop opened by the Revolutionary Workers’ Group in 1932, Connolly Books – as it has been known since 1971 – stocks a wide range of books and papers that you can have delivered to you.

9. The Library Project

The Library Project sits just by Ha’penny Bridge, and provides some of the best artistic, critical thinking, children’s books, magazines and more. You’ll find the entire immaculate collection at your fingertips from their online store.

10. The Secret Bookshop And Record Store

A fantastic and funny spot that sells cheap reads and records that could pretty much service every need you require. Dive headfirst into one of the many titles here, from their Irish section to bestsellers like Naom Chomsky and Eavan Boland. Check out their selection here.

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