Working in Dublin City Centre, I often find myself passing a dreary lunch hour (it is January after all and currently resembling a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road) browsing around different book shops in town. While all the usual big names and established stores are fine, especially when I am armed with vouchers from Christmas!, It’s well worth checking out charity bookshops. A particular favourite is the Oxfam bookshop on Parliament Street, just off Templebar.
It really is well organised and well stocked and is mercifully all arranged which eliminates the rummaging through piles of rubbish which other stalls and shops have. I have found plenty of great reads for a couple of euro that otherwise I would be shelling out a hell of a lot more for. The real beauty of these shops is that not only are you doing your good deed for the day but also getting something back other that good karma!
Also, you just never know what you will find. In that shop on Parliament Street alone I have bought for just over 50 euro the Collected Works of Padraic Pearse – Complete Political Speeches and the Collected Plays, Poems and Stories. Even as a student I could never afford to buy these volumes, if I was lucky enough to even find them! A couple of editions are currently for sale online for about 200-250 euro
With the centenary anniversary of the Easter Rising fast approaching, these and all 1916 material will skyrocket in value. Just look at the items sold at the Adams’ Independence auctions in Dublin for the last few years. However, I can categorically state that the Pearse volumes are NOT FOR SALE!
Another lucky find was a late nineteenth century edition of the memoirs of Susanna Cibber, the daughter of the celebrated actor and director Colley Cibber, he being one of the famous names at Smock Alley theatre during the early eighteenth century. The price….2 euro!
It just shows, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure!