Irish Autumn: Bookshop Crawl (and haul)

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.

Dingle Bookshop

bookshop DingleUpon 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

bookshop LitearthaI 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


bookshop WaterstonesIs 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

bookshop vibesBy 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



  1. Those look like some lovely bookshops!
    I have the same problem with bookshops around here. One of the local shops recently decided to close down their English book section, which until then occupied about a third of their upper floor. Apparently they didn’t sell well enough. Instead, the whole upper floor is now closed and empty (I really don’t know what they win by this), and the few English books that are left occupy one measly shelf. I do like visiting a book store and buying my books in person, but with developments like this, it is really not a mystery why most people don’t even bother any longer and just order their books on Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. It’s two shelves and a table in “my” bookshop. Although they do have a quite nicely curated selection there, it naturally cannot be very broad. And if you are looking for something in particular they most likely don’t have it…
      That only leaves online shopping. I think I want to try out bookdepository soon, though. I have the feeling they don’t have as bad a reputation as amazon?
      Thank you for the comment 🙂


      1. Hehe, nice to hear 😉
        Just found out that the bookdepository site has been bought by amazon, though. So maybe it is not really an alternative after all… -.-


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s