“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”(Ecclesiastes 12:12, KJB). We are probably all aware of this famous quotation from the Old Testament. It comes to my mind as I have just returned from doing some Christmas shopping in Dublin city centre and have had the occasion to go into two bookstores in search of presents. This is a singularly dangerous pursuit for me as I cannot leave a bookstore without some purchase or other to add to my own personal pile of books demanding to be read. There is a new Chapters bookstore open on Parnell street right opposite the Ilac Centre. It is a fine big bright and spacious store with lovely leather seats on which to recline should one be inclined to peruse a book or two before buying.
There are many bargains well placed to catch the buyer’s eye and, boy, there were queues at the counters buying all those last minute presents. Anyway, it’s nice to see that Eason’s are getting some competition not too far from their O’Connell Street branch – they’ve had (or more correctly have) a virtual monopoly of the book trade in Ireland and can charge what they like for a book. I’ve always found Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street to be the best value in books and to have a range of titles far wider and far better categorized than that of their competitors. I suppose this latter aims at a more high brow clientele being so close to TCD.
However, the new Chapters shop, like its older brother in Middle Abbey Street, is worth visiting for its unusually low-priced bargains.
Anyway, to cut a long story short I ended up buying 6 bargains for myself and some four others as presents. Perhaps there should be an addiction called bibliophilia.