Thursday, December 17, 2009

Observe my new link, and show it fear

WRITING UPDATE: Sometimes I feel the entire universe lacks tact.

I added a new link to the 'Other Book Stuff' tab today. I am unfeasibly proud of myself for this.

When I started a link section called 'Other Book Stuff', I was afraid that it might take over the world. I read about books a lot. Surely everything I love in the whole world - and that's a lot of things - would somehow ultimately end up there.

I added one link, to the NaNoWriMo site. Then my mind went blank.

It turns out that almost every website about books that I visit with any regularity is either a writer's blog or a publishing blog.

Now it feels like a little victory every time I add a new link :)

My latest two links have involved lists of nice bookshops. The Guardian's list of the best second-hand bookshops in Britain is untested - I've only been to one of them, and although it was good, it was unmemorable. Still, it's definitely got the most boring entry of all the shops on that list, so I still have great hopes for the others. Once I have a driving licence, I may rent a van, sell an internal organ and go on the world's nerdiest road trip.

Okay, now I'm even making myself cringe.

The list of good bookshops in Dublin is one I can comment on with a little more authority, wisdom and gravitas. Anyone reading this who plans to visit Dublin, heed ye this: GO TO CHAPTERS!! GO TO CHAPTERS!! GO TO CHAPTERS!! GO TO CHAPTERS!! GO TO CHAPTERS!! My cousin once described in as Amazon Marketplace in shop form, which is about right.


I am also incredibly fond of The Secret Book and Record Store, because such strange things turn up there, things that you could never get anywhere else. If I needed a George Saunders fix this is where I would go.

One bookshop that doesn't make the cut on that post, but which I feel should, is Raven Books in Blackrock. Slightly off the beaten track but very nice, and with a rather interesting Twitter page.

So, does anyone out there have any bookshops I might like to know about? And I don't care how far away from Dublin they are - bookshops can sit on my 'To Visit' list longer than anything except ice cream parlours.


  1. You know Ellen, you're right. We read about writing and so on, but we often don't remember to link to the bookshops. I'm going to check out Raven Books after I comment here. Fun.

    I think it's like reading for me--we get so bogged down in our cyber world, we forget to stop and turn the pages.

    CHAPTERS is also in Canada (where I grew up).

  2. I always try to make sure reading is the last thing to suffer in favour of writing (except the obvious family and friends stuff!) but as I've said before, I'm lucky because I can spend my long trips to and from work reading, so it's not as much effort. If it wasn't for that time, it would be so easy for writing and the online side of it to take over.

    I think the Chapters in Dublin is independent, but it could be part of a chain - if it is, then visiting Canada just got even more attractive!

  3. Powell's Used Books in Portland, Oregon. It takes up an entire (maybe more) city block. Many floors, stairs, rooms and rooms and rooms of books. The best.

  4. Thanks, Shelby - that's going on the list!


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