A bookworm’s guide to Dublin’s literary havens

This week saw Lit Soc bring its members on a book crawl across the city, hand-picking the bookshops every avid reader in Trinity should visit.

trinity-lifeOn Wednesday February 15, the Literary Society gathered with members and book enthusiasts alike at the front of  House 6 to begin their tour of bookshops and literary hubs in Dublin.  In good spirit, we left campus for the first stop on the route, Hodges Figgis. Stopping at the gates, members were entertained with whimsical stories of some of Trinity’s literary figures, such as that of Yeats’ bitterness at not lecturing at Trinity and Samuel Beckett driving wrestler ‘Andre the Giant’ to school.

Hodges Figgis, located on Dawson street, boasts the largest collection of Irish novels and is even mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Being only a few minutes walk from College, it is a well-known store to Trinity students. This bookshop is truly a treat for those who relish in the quiet, relaxed atmosphere of a bookstores. If you’re looking for friendly service, beautiful editions of books, and several floors boasting an expansive variety,  this should be your first stop too.

Next was Dubray Books, a charming getaway amidst the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street. With a wide range on offer and a lovely selection of stationery, the Dubray chain is also a well-known spot for book signings. This is a place to keep an on, as you never know who will show up. Overall Dubray bookstore is a welcoming spot to pop into as you make your way down one of Dublin’s busiest streets.

Continuing on with our cheerful and informative tour, we arrived at The Secret Book and Record Store. Though small in size, The Secret Book and Record Store was a worthy stop on our tour.  Located on Wicklow street, is the go-to place for those itching for something special and yet not quite sure where to begin. With a wide range of genres available, as well as a selection of alternative books such as one on fungus formation and the history of literary rivalry, this store comes highly recommended from this bookworm. It radiates charms, and  serves as a place you would definitely wish to spend some of your free time in.

Traveling on, we arrived at Upstairs Bookstore on D’Olier Street.  A quaint place decorated with beautiful artwork of famous literary text, it also has a coffeeshop above the bookstore itself. If you need somewhere to turn to in an endeavor to write or expand your literary  knowledge of Irish plays, poetry and books, I would encourage you to give this place a go.

Crossing the River Liffey, the tour arrived at the Winding Stairs. If you are interested in Irish novels or have an interest in painting and painters, this may be what you’re looking for. With a cozy sitting area at the window, this shop carries a bohemian theme throughout. Whilst it is a small bookstore, this only adds to the intimate and home-like feel it emulates.

Our last stop on the tour was Chapters located on Parnell Street. A place after this writer’s own heart, it is brimming with beautiful vintage-style books. It consists of two floors of seemingly endless book supply, and the best part is that they offer fair and affordable prices. With books and gifts, such as bags, notebooks and badges suited for every book lover,  this was the perfect place to end our literary expedition.

As an afternoon of interesting facts, exploration and a buzz of conversation came to a close, attendees of the Lit Soc Book Crawl appeared to have enjoyed what seemed to me a successful and worthwhile event. From well-known bookstores to those slightly more off the grid, Lit Soc certainly proved a reliable source on the essential literary havens across the City Centre, many of which are a must-see for bookworms, writers, and curious students alike.