The Best Bookshops in Dublin

October 11, 2012 by

Free Things To Do, Things To Do, Uniquely Dublin

Books By Samuel Beckett. Photo courtesy of sleep via Flickr.

Books By Samuel Beckett. Photo courtesy of sleep via Flickr.

As a UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin has long nurtured its reputation for inspiring writers, playwrights and poets. James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett have all called the Irish capital home, and the city’s rich literary history has set the scene for an impressive array of independent bookstores. Whether you’re looking to pick up a bargain, hunt down a rare find or purchase a classic novel, here are five of the best places to start looking.

Check out a literary tour of Dublin to learn more about your favorite authors and books! 

1) Chapters

A long-standing favorite among Dubliners, Chapters offers a sizable selection of new books, alongside an entire floor devoted to second-hand books. Give yourself time to browse the discounted sections for some great bargains.

2) The Winding Stair

This laid back, bohemian style bookstore, named after a collection of Yeats’ poems, is renowned for its charming décor and features its own crooked staircase, leading up to an in-house coffee shop. Over-looking the Ha’Penny Bridge and the Liffey River, it’s an atmospheric spot for a coffee, after which the knowledgeable staff will help you sift through the wide range of new and second-hand books.

3) Books Upstairs

A small and friendly bookshop, Books Upstairs offers a good range of books, including a notable Irish interest section and plenty of hard-to-find titles. The authentic surroundings, complete with creaky stairs and time-weathered furnishings, lend a timely quality to book hunting endeavors, and prices remain rock bottom.

4) The Secret Bookstore

Tucked away down a side street the small yet crammed Secret Bookstore is dedicated to second hand books with plenty of unusual finds hidden among the shelves.

5) The Gutter bookshop

A more recent addition to Dublin’s array of independent bookstores, The Gutter Bookshop takes its name from the Oscar Wilde quote “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Close by the busy Temple Bar area, the store is home to a small but carefully selected range of books, including an excellent children’s section and a regular book club.

- Zoe Smith

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