This series of posts will over the next few months, years and until we have our own bookstore (the dream) – tell you some fab places to buy books.
Feel free to post some ideas and tips to us!
Ok, so let’s start with the honest part of the post. Not every book we buy is from an independent bookseller or taken from a library. For Lou, a trip to the library is an outing for the family! For me, it’s a rarity – although I do sometimes take a ramble around Manchester Central library, never miss a chance to visit New York Public Library (5th Avenue) and have fantastic memories of the stunning old library at Trinity College, Dublin where the bookshelves wowed almost more than the Book of Kells.
Let’s start with online and let me admit that I do use Amazon to buy some, if not most, of my books. As mentioned in another post, I have a kindle – but I prefer a real book. So sometimes I will purchase from Amazon for the kindle and sometimes if I’m reading a magazine on a late Sunday afternoon and feel like I really MUST buy a book I’ve read about immediately I will go online to Amazon. All this whilst knowing that I’ll have it by the next day – although minus the romance of time spent browsing through books shelves.
Then there is Waterstones, I really do love Waterstones. Whilst I know it’s not independent, I feel the team at every bookstore bring something special to their local and visiting shoppers. The size of the Manchester store on Deansgate means that it’s wonderful to ramble around at lunchtime or early evening after work and it comes with recommendations from the team (nothing new there, but still welcome). They hold some great events here too, especially during Manchester Literary Festival – which are on our to do list!
Elsewhere the Waterstones in Dublin is actually called Hodges Figgis and is, according to the website, ‘Ireland’s oldest book stores… serving books since 1768.’ I remember one of my first visits to this store in about 1990 (although I had probably visited previously) – one of my friends was sourcing books for her first year at UCD and although feeling a little intimidated I immediately fell in love with the fiction section and later came to appreciate the vast section of Irish books. This store has a really special feeling and is worth a visit.
Then there’s Eason Book Stores, I have spent so much of my pre-Manchester money in Eason’s on O’Connell St, Dublin that I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve been there! Myself and my friends often used it as a meeting point – the alternative to ‘under Clery’s Clock’…
I’m not too fond of some of the branches, such as the one in Dundrum Shopping Centre which is often very busy and feels like complete mayhem. But, stumble into one of the many stores across Ireland and very often you’ll find a deal and an unexpected title – for me it’s often an Irish book that hasn’t quite made it to the shores of the UK.
So, what we’d really like is some recommendations… In the next few posts, we’ll talk about those smaller books stores that we’ve visited over the years. But we’re looking forward to suggestions and hopefully we can make some future trips to stores near and far…!