As part of our series on how to ‘buy Irish’ online for Christmas 2023, here are 14 Irish bookshop businesses to check out for festive gift ideas.
With an estimated 70pc of online shopping purchases made overseas, it is vital we support Irish SMEs.
You simply cannot go wrong with books at Christmas so consider checking out what these Irish book shops have online this Christmas:
One of Dublin’s best known independent bookshops, Adam Hanna’s bookshop in Rathmines specialises in Irish literature and history and also boasts an academic text book section, bestsellers, art, travel, fiction, drama and more.
Antonia’s Bookstore opened its doors in 2005 in the beautiful heritage town of Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland. It stocks a large range of books, stationery, greeting cards and art and craft sets.
Describing itself as one of Dublin’s oldest independent bookshops, Books Upstairs on D’Olier Street, Books Upstairs was first opened in May 1978 by Maurice Earls and Enda O’Doherty. The stock focused on literature, history and politics, but also introduced previously absent or underrepresented genres and authors to Ireland, stocking philosophy, literary criticism, psychology, feminism and gay literature. “Encouraging the circulation of ideas was an early objective that we persist in these 40+ years later,” the site states proudly.
Irish-owned and operated since 1985, Bookstation has more than 18 stores around Ireland. As well as books its sells social and business stationery along with party goods, craft and greeting cards.
The much-loved bookstore’s near demise and celebrated return was a reminder of the place that bookstores hold in our hearts, despite the digitalisation of almost everything.
The sustainability aspect of Chapters’ ability to host new releases alongside secondhand books should also be valued.
As they say themselves: “It is a cliché, but we don’t realise what we value until its gone. This is true of our store, Chapters in Parnell Street. The outpouring of grief and the stories that were shared, reminded us all that a bookshop holds an unusual position in people’s lives, books are part of how we see ourselves and express ourselves, they are also how we understand others – we have an emotional response when we see someone reading a book that we love.”
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop is one of Ireland’s best-loved independent bookshops and is located in the heart of Galway City. Explore its labyrinthine maze of more than 100,000 books: new, second-hand, bargain and antiquarian.
What began as a single shop in the seaside town of Bray in 1973 owned by Helen Clear, Dubray Books has grown to stores in Grafton Street, Dundrum, Cork, Rathmines, Stillorgan, Galway, Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire, Liffey Valley and Henry Street. Each store boasts up to 15,000 titles and deliveries within Ireland occur within two to three working days with free delivery on orders over €20.
Ireland’s biggest book chain Eason features a multitude of book titles, stationery, games and gifts across all genres. It offers free delivery on orders over €10.
An independent bookshop based in Dublin, it’s original store opened on Cow’s Lane in Temple Bar in 2009 and a second shop opened in Dalkey in 2013. The store aims to provide book buyers something different from the mainstream and “something new and exciting that you’ll struggle to uncover on a internet bookshop search.”
With a heritage dating back to 1768, Ireland’s oldest bookshop Hodges Figgis still packs a charm with floors and floors of books.
Although it is now owned by Waterstones it is very much part and parcel of many people’s perception of what shopping in Dublin is all about.
A Galway institution and one of the first businesses in Ireland to embrace e-commerce, Kennys has almost 1m new, used/second-hand and rare books available online. It offers free delivery within Ireland on all orders and ships books worldwide to more than 120 countries annually.
Tucked away on Wicklow Street, The Secret Book & Record Store offers affordable new and second-hand books and vinyl records both in-store and online.
As well as serving the island of Ireland, it has more than 5,000 additional titles available on the Amazon and ABE platforms worldwide.
Established in 1969 by the late Enda Cunningham and run by his children today, Ulysses Rare Books is Dublin’s leading antiquarian bookshop.
Located on Duke Street in Dublin’s city centre, first editions of the seminal works of authors such as WB Yeats, Flann O’Brien, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett sit alongside the works of more recent writers such as Seamus Heaney and Roddy Doyle. If you love your books and supporting family businesses, this is the place for you.
A bookshop and restaurant, the Winding Stair Bookshop is one of the oldest surviving independent bookshops in Dublin. As well as unusual books not normally stocked in mainstream bookshops, it has an extensive range of fiction, including Irish authors, poetry, drama, current affairs, gardening, cookery, art and design, humour, non-fiction and a brilliant children’s section. They also stock literary magazines, zines, and have several beautiful card ranges, notebooks and tote bags.