The Sunday Salon: Chapters of Dublin

This will be my last post about my adventures in Ireland. Across from our hotel in Dublin was Chapters, a bookstore I had actually already heard about from those who had previously gone on the Ireland trip in glowing terms. While I didn’t have a chance to go during our first days in Dublin, I managed to hit it up—twice—during our final weekend in Dublin. And let me tell you, I could spend hours in there.

Chapters is the largest independent bookstore in Ireland—luckily for me, as I’d just made my New’s Year resolution to only buy independent or used this year. It’s two stories and quite deep; I barely noticed a gentleman being escorted out by police on my first visit. (Luckily, my friend was much more observant.) New and sale books are displayed attractively on tables on the first floor, and used books take up the second floor. On my first visit, I didn’t have much time, as we had to meet the tour group to go see Little Women, but on my second visit, I spent at least two hours, drooling over books and notebooks.

On the first floor, I was very taken by these Vintage reissues. To celebrate the publishing house’s twenty-first birthday, Vintage has released twenty-one of its titles in gloriously colorful editions, complete with matching sprayed edges. I was sorely tempted by The Handmaid’s Tale, but the eight euro price tag, especially as my funds dwindled, held me back. But they’re so incredibly gorgeous!

And then I died laughing when I went to go check on editions of Sherlock Holmes. Look, I like tie-in book covers as much as the next woman—I collect US editions of The Lord of the Rings, for Pete’s sake, and don’t think I don’t want a copy of The Three Musketeers with Orlando Bloom smarming at me. (I have a one sheet for the movie over my desk. The Duke of Buckingham is my life coach, what can I say?) But putting the modern trappings of Sherlock on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and A Study in Scarlet makes me giggle. To be fair, both covers do try to hide the modern clothes by using shots with them in coats and jackets, but I’m still unsure why they colored in Sherlock’s scarf differently on both editions. Well, to each their own, I suppose. (I did, however, appreciate the numbered Penguin editions, and will probably purchase those when I’m incredibly rich and can buy every book ever.)

I naturally sought out the Tolkien shelf as soon as I hit the second floor. While I didn’t get a photo of it, there was a brilliant bargain pile that started near the stairs and wound around the wall. It was neatly stacked, but easy to access, and I just loved the idea of wading through books. I also found a making of the movie Eragon book, which I probably should have bought, for kicks and giggles, as it’s one of my favorite bad movies. (I do, however, now own an Eragon poster. God bless thrift stores.) And I think that’s really the best part of Chapters; the thrill of the hunt, and just being able to pick through a great selection of books. If you’re ever in Dublin, definitely pay Chapters a visit.

This is my haul from Chapters—new copies of The Little Stranger and Indiscretion (which I’m very excited about, since I loved Passion), a used copy of Nights at the Circus, and an adorable notebook from Spank Publishing. I have such a hard time finding cute and tiny ring-bound notebooks that I had to get it, even if it has London on it rather than anything else. I will be buying more.

Well, Valentine’s Day week has yielded up plenty of candy—so much, in fact, that I’ve kind of lost my appetite. I’m interviewing prospective students today and finishing up some writing projects for class. I finished The Starboard Sea, Batwoman: Elegy, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

Tor/Forge is giving away David Weber’s Safehold series until March 9th; you have to sign up for their newsletter. The Baen Free Library is full of free downloads, including The Shadow of the Lion and On Basilisk Station. Night Shade Books is offering Butcher Bird and Grey as free downloads at the moment. Vertigo Comics is offering free downloads of the first issue of several series, including Fables, The Unwritten, and Y: The Last Man. (And you will go download The Unwritten.) Small Beer Press offers several of their books as free downloads, including Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners. If I’ve missed your giveaway or freebie, drop me a line!

Have you encountered great bookstores while traveling?

9 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Chapters of Dublin

  1. Chapters! Best bookshop ever! When I was in Dublin I met one of my oldest blogging friends there and we browsed for hours. Good times 😀

    I looove Nights at the Circus and the Waters. And I have that same edition of Indiscretion, though I haven’t read it yet. I keep hearing his other books aren’t as good as Passion and The Taste of Sorrow, but I still want to read them all.

  2. Chapters looks amazing! I’ll definitely visit if (when) I make it to Dublin.

    I made a point of going to the Strand when I was in New York. It wasn’t quite the browser’s paradise I expected, but I still had a marvelous time poking through the shelves. I had to buy something, even though I’d received tons of books at BEA, so I went with a copy of A STAR SHALL FALL by Marie Brennan and a Strand sticker for my suitcase.

    I always go to Munro’s Books when I’m in Victoria, BC. They have wonderful atmosphere, and their bargain section is tops. I also love the bookmarks they give away with each purchase. Victoria and the surrounding towns are just generally great for bookstores; there’s also a tiny place called Well-Read Books that I try to hit whenever I’m in nearby Sooke, and I can (and have) spend hours roaming the many used stores in Sydney, BC. And don’t even get me started about the used bookstores in downtown Victoria, right by Munro’s. We’ll be here all night.

    Ditto the many great used bookstores in Auckland. My favourite was the Hard To Find Bookshop in Onehunga. If you’re ever in the southern hemisphere, it’s worth a special trip. (Onehunga itself is a pretty great suburb; there’s stuff to do beyond the bookstore’s walls.) The store takes up both the dedicated shop and the flat above it, and the owners have left all the original wallpapers and trappings in place. They’ve also added an extra storey to the first floor, which has very high ceilings, and there are books crammed in absolutely everywhere. I love it muchly. I don’t think I ever bought anything there, since books are wicked expensive in NZ, but a couple of friends of mine cleaned up on one particular visit.

    /excessively long comment.

    • Excessively long comments are my favorite comments!

      I do plan to visit New Zealand someday (Ringer pilgrimage!), and I will definitely swing by that bookshop. I love living spaces (neatly!) crammed with books. And Victoria’s stores sound great!

  3. I think I dedicated 4 blog posts to bookshops in Paris. I love Shakespeare & Co. – but there are also some other great English bookstores that were really great. Some awesome stores in Amsterdam as well. Especially one close to the Anne Frank House (sorry, can’t remember the name at the moment). I was struck by you seeming to think that 8 euros was expensive for a book – are books really that cheap in the States? 8 euros are definitely cheap when you’re from Denmark …! 🙂

    • Well, books aren’t cheap, but I am! 8 euros is plenty reasonable for the Vintage, but it was towards the end of the trip and I was a bit low on funds. I usually try not to buy books I can rent, and The Handmaid’s Tale definitely counts. (But someday! I will buy all the books!)

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