May 30, 2011

Great Bookshops

A couple of weeks ago, I placed an order for Hounded, by Kevin Hearne. I initially considered going through Amazon, just for convenience, but the delivery cost would have been about the same as the price of the book.

So just to see how long it would take, I called up Hidges Figgis, one of the oldest bookshops in Dublin (the oldest? Probably) to place an order. Less than a week later, I got a call to let me know it was in, and it was going to cost me €4 less than it would have cost from Amazon, once delivery was factored in.

I love Hodges Figgis. It's such a nicely laid out place, with really knowledgeable staff. One of their staff was happy to discuss options for buying books on narrative and artisitic symbolism for a solid ten minutes, and his first choice out of all of them was a book he fully admitted I'd probably have to go online to find.

Every now and again I rekindle my love of a good bookshop. I could spend hours just wandering around looking at the shelves and smelling the books. I've let that love lapse a lot in recent years. I think it's high time I made more of an effort to get my books from somewhere like Hodges Figgis, especially since I'm discovering so many great writers to check out these days. I'll be buying more books, so rather than being lazy and spending extra money to have something delivered to me, I think I'll put in the extra effort and support a good bookshop, particularly if they can keep beating the likes of Amazon on price like that!

Who else has a favourite bookshop? And what is it about them you love?


  1. We have an independent bookstore nearby called Bookworks. It is small, has a dusky smell, there are books in every corner, some stacked on the floor, rather than shelves. THey take good care of their customers by ordering books, and I love hanging out there.

  2. In Denver we have the world-famous Tattered Cover. (Are they world-famous? They say they're world-famous.) It's a big place, but still comfy-cozy, and you can find or order anything. I have found, however, that lately bookstore prices can't compete with Amazon prices. Especially if you have the Amazon membership with free shipping. (I guess that paid membership means the shipping isn't free, exactly...)

  3. Bookshops - a pet subject of mine! I so love wandering around, checking out what's new, taking a bundle with me to give a "trial" read for potential purchase. My favourite bookshop is the Book Centre in Waterford city. In the midst of all that literary accomplishment, there's a seated area with tables for coffee & a fountain. The water gurgles while you drink coffee and read. Gorgeous.

  4. My favorite is the Andover Bookstore in Andover, Mass. It has a working wood burning fireplace with wing back chairs positioned just right. The old wood floors creak, and it has multiple levels, some just a few steps down, some up the stairs or down. When I was young, I'd walk home from school and often I'd just go in their and wander through the children's book section, just looking at the beautiful books.

  5. I love Daunt Books, on Marylebone High Street, London. It's exactly what a bookshop should look like.

  6. One of the things I miss most about leaving Seattle is the amount of awesome little book stores there were. You would think everyone in Florida was illiterate based on how many we have here.