Welcome to my Irish autumn, part 2! I am still wishing myself back to Ireland and because it gave me the opportunity for some more reminiscing, I prepared a post about the bookshop crawl I went on whilst on this beautiful island. Now, I only really visited two major cities, which were Dingle (actually not so major) and Cork. Concerning books, I came totally unprepared and mostly let the shops I found inspire me. I made an effort to buy some books about Ireland or by Irish authors – or both – because what better way is there to really get to know a country’s culture?
I always love to go to English-language bookshops, because getting my hands on original versions is quite expensive where I live and the selections are usually very restricted. If I want to get them from real bookshops and not from the internet, that is. Oh, the joys of standing in a room filled to the roof with English books! A dream come true 🙂
What I acquired during my one week of holidays is actually quite a lot for me, since I am more of a slow reader and buy-few-books-but-savour-them-kind of person. But I always have to seize the opportunity of first-hand access to English books and these acquisitions have to last me until my next vacation to an English-speaking country.
Upon arriving in Dingle we practically stumbled across this bookshop and as it was the first day of our holidays, the boyfriend gladly approved of our spending some time exploring its displays. They stock the books that everyone is talking about at the moment but also (and more interestingly) a variety of Irish-themed, Irish-authored, Irish-languaged books that I loved to browse through. In the end it was quite the struggle to decide which books to take with me.
What I got:
‘The House on an Irish Hillside’ by Felicity Hayes-McCoy
‘The Green Road’ by Anne Enright
2 Green St, Dingle, Co Kerry
An Café Liteartha
I suppose the name of this bookshop is Irish and means something like ‘literary café’. Maybe not. Probably yes. And it is a wonderful little bookshop with a rustic feel to it and a café in the back. I did not get to try out the café, though, because we were actually looking for a pub to eat lunch in at that time. BUT, ignoring the roaring stomachs, I just had to rummage in the somewhat quirky, but remarkably diverse selection of this shop. And, of course, I found some books – for really great prices, as well.
What I got:
‘The Tallystick’ by Bryan MacMahon
‘On Canaan’s Side’ by Sebastian Barry
Dykegate St (who needs house numbers anyway?), Dingle, Co Kerry
Is Waterstones a too mainstream company already? Well, I can’t help it. I always feel like a child in a sweets shop when I enter a Waterstones. And it makes me want to read all the books! Which I can’t, of course. But perusing the shelves is a joy in itself here. This particular branch did not much differ from other Waterstones shops, but that is what you get with chain shops and in the case of Waterstones, it is not really a bad thing.
What I got:
‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler
‘Gorsky’ by Vesna Goldsworthy
69 Patrick St, Cork, Co Cork
Vibes & Scribes
By the time we got to Vibes & Scribes, it got significantly harder to convince the Bean that a visit to a(nother) bookshop is totally necessary. But I would not have wanted to miss out on this one! This bookshop is actually two bookshops. The first one stocks exclusively second-hand copies, but you can find almost anything you are interested in. I even discovered several volumes of the ‘Fearless’ series by Francine Pascal, which I devoured as a teen and I was SO close to taking them with me. But that would have definitely bursted my luggage on the way back home. The second part of the shop offers new books, but for absolutely bargain prices, as well. It has an open layout which makes it feel rather warehouse-like. Since it was filled to the roof with books, I kind of liked that, though.
What I got:
‘The Waves’ by Virginia Woolf
21 Lavitt’s Quay, Cork City, Co Cork