Friday, January 19, 2007

Further to my post dated January 7th. Today’s edition of the Irish Times has an article concerning the plight of Independent Bookshops in Ireland. The general consensus is that things are going form bad to worse for the small retailer. To paraphrase the article small retailers are just one bad rent review away from going out of business.

In the main the focus is on Anthology Books in Meeting House Square which is soon to close it’s doors. As I’ve stated in a previous post it’s sad and disappointing that Anthology Books is soon to close, but it will continue operating an internet sales business.

What of the other small retailers in Dublin. Well Chapters have recently moved from Middle Abbey Street to a new and improved store in Parnell Street. The Winding Stair Bookshop on Ormond Quay has recently re-opened, both new and improved.

You also have The Secret Bookshop in Wicklow Street in which to wander through. Not to mention the sadly under rated Book Worms on Middle Abbey Street.

Greens always disappoints and as a friend of mine said once up a time, looks as if someone stood on the far side of the road and fired the books in.

Of the bigger shops you have Waterstones and Hodges and Fidges. And at the bottom of the pile you’ll find Easons. Once upon a time Easons used to be a bookshop now it’s a rather large storeroom which sells magazines.

Outside of Dublin are things any different? To tell the truth probably not. For instance Kennys bookshop in Galway recently closed its doors for the last time, deciding instead to concentrate on the online sales business. Meanwhile in the City of the Tribes both Charlie Byrnes Bookshop and Bell, Book and Candle in the Small Crane appear to be going strong.

The outlook is mixed and many more small independent booksellers may go to the wall. But perhaps not everything is necessarily all doom and gloom.

It's hard to say what will help to keep independents afloat. Being in the right place, having the right ideas about keeping the shop afloat means always taking risks on new technology or looking for unique ways of keeping customers coming back. Who knows what will work?

I wouldn't like to lose all the independents, as they are often the only way to keep hearing the underdog/underrepresented voices in literature.

Nice post Liff.
It may be all doom and gloom in the wider world in independent bookshops, but the new Chapters is really great.
Too great actually, it makes me spend far more than I really should :)
Fence, I’ve only taken a very quick look around the new Chapters in Parnell Street but from what I can see and from what I’ve heard it’s a book lovers paradise.
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