Throughout Ireland’s prolonged lockdowns people have turned to online shopping as a way to meet their shopping desires. Companies like Amazon have profited massively during the pandemic while small Irish businesses remain closed by order of the government. One of the many sectors hit by the lockdowns is the traditional bookshop. If, like me, you enjoy strolling around charming local bookshops for hours on end you will have felt some guilt when purchasing books from Amazon and the Amazon owned Book Depository throughout the past year.

Covid19 has been tough on the much loved Irish bookshop. When government lockdown restrictions were announced in March 2020, dozens of Irish bookshops scrambled to get their inventories online. While many never made the transition to an online store, dozens have.

Last week I took to Twitter to ask for recommendations of Irish owned bookshops that have online shopping available. I was blown away with the response. Many bookshops engaged with the tweet directly, and two DM’d me via Twitter offering to send me some free books.

Below is a list of 29 Irish bookshops that have made the jump to online stores. Though their inventories cannot rival Amazon, all of the stores below will happily acquire your requested book if they don’t currently stock it.

There is no doubting the ease with which you can buy on Amazon. It is an efficient and cost-effective process. But, at a time when Irish businesses need our support more than ever, we should all choose to shop local.

 

So, here are 29 Irish-owned alternatives to Amazon for all your book needs;

www.booksatone.ie

Books at One is a community owned business working to make books more easily available in rural Ireland. They’ll soon be opening two new stores in Dublin and Cork.

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www.woodbinebooks.ie/

Woodbine Books is situated in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare. They offer an extensive range of books for all ages and also stock school books.

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thebookshop.ie

Based in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, TheBookShop.ie has a great section containing books for €2.50 or less!

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www.dubraybooks.ie/

Dubray Books are a familiar name in the business with 8 stores, including in Wicklow and Galway. They have over 15,000 titles per store! In 2020, they were bought by Eason’s.

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www.gutterbookshop.com

An independent bookshop based in Dublin, The Gutter Bookshop has two stores in the Capital.

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www.easons.com

A favourite for Irish people for three centuries, Eason’s has an extensive website well worth a look.

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www.kennys.ie

Kenny’s Bookshop was one the most recommended retailers by users who replied to the above tweet. A Galway favourite since 1940, Kenny’s offer free domestic shipping in Ireland and boast over 1 million books in their inventory.

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www.omahonys.ie

O’Mahony’s was founded in 1902 at 120 O’Connell St. Limerick by J.P.O’Mahony, grandfather of the current owner Frank, and continues to trade from the same location.

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booksupstairs.ie

First opened in 1978, Books Upstairs is Dublin’s oldest independent bookshop.

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www.mayobooks.ie

Mayobooks.ie is operated from the The Castle Book and Card Centre on Castle Street in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The Castle Bookshop has been in Castlebar for the past 30 years.

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justbooksmullingar.com

Just Books describes itself as “a unique and charming bookshop located in the heart of Mullingar. We offer customers the personal touch and that’s what makes us stand apart from other bookshops”.

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www.maynoothbookshop.com

Maynooth Bookshop is a family owned independent bookshop based in Maynooth. They opened our doors in 1988 and have grown with the town of Maynooth ever since.

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www.alanhannas.com

Located in Rathmines, Dublin, Alan Hanna’s Bookshop was featured on Big 7 Travel as one of Dublin’s top independent bookshops.

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www.thecompanyofbooks.ie

The Company of Books opened at 96 Ranelagh Village in November 2009. They offer free delivery of books within 2.5km of the store.

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www.tertuliabookshop.com

Tertulia is an independent bookshop based in Westport, Co. Mayo.

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www.liber.ie

Liber is located in the heart of Yeats county, Sligo. Liber also stocks an eclectic range of music on CD & Vinyl.

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www.dinglebookshop.com

Dingle Bookshop is an independent bookshop at the heart of the Dingle Peninsula, a stone’s throw from the Wild Atlantic Way.

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www.ravenbooks.ie

Raven Books is a small independent bookshop in the heart of Blackrock Village offering a general mix of new and second hand books.

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www.antoniasbookstore.com

Antonia’s Bookstore opened its doors in 2005 in the heritage town of Trim, Co. Meath.

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www.bannerbooks.ie

Located on The Square, Ennistymon, Co. Clare Banner Books sell new and used books for children and adults, cards and literary gifts.

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www.thebookcentre.ie

The Book Centre’s site is a great online resource for book lovers, with excellent recommendations for all ages, videos on helping children to learn to love to read, and even fancy chocolates.

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www.chapters.ie

Established in 1983, Chapters Bookstore is an independent Irish bookstore that had its first home in Wicklow Street, Dublin. Since then, Chapters has moved from Wicklow Street to St. Stephens Green, Henry Street to Abbey Street until opening the largest independent bookstore in Ireland on Parnell Street in 2006, our current location.

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www.charliebyrne.ie

Located in the heart of Galway city, Charlie Byrne’s flagship shop on Middle Street (beside Milano Restaurant) is just around the corner from Shop Street, the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. No visit to Galway is complete without browsing the shelves of Charlie Byrne’s, and while browsing online is not the same, it’s still a great experience.

 

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www.bookworm.ie

Bookworm Bookshop has been trading in the centre of Thurles Co. Tipperary for almost thirty years. Established in 1993 the shop was located in a small premises on Westgate but has since moved twice and is now located at the corner of Liberty Square and Parnell Street.

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www.philipsbookshop.com

Philip’s Bookshop was started in 1989 by husband and wife Philip and Catherine O’Flynn in Chapel Lane, Mallow. I am biased here because Philip’s is my local bookshop and it’s great! They ship all over Ireland and offer a click and collect service.

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www.bridgestreetbooks.ie

Bridge Street Books, an independent, family-run bookstore in Wicklow town, won the Irish Times Book Shop of the Year award way back in 2014, when the world was a different place.

www.halfwayupthestairs.ie

Opened in Greystones in 2019, Halfway Up The Stairs is one of the only children’s bookshops in Ireland, stocking all kinds of children’s books including young teen and young adult.

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www.bookstation.ie

Irish owned and operated since 1985. In addition to books, Bookstation stock a full range of social and business stationery along with Party Goods, Craft and Greeting Cards.

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www.vibesandscribes.ie

A cork favourite since 1991, Vibes and Scribes stocks books, arts and crafts, fabrics and sewing materials and much more!