Saturday, 12 November 2011

Chapters of Parnell Street - a worthy Irish institution

All right, the blog is often accused of "knockin' Ireland"

That's not altogether true, of course, as only the things that are deemed bad about our little land get "knocked".  Admittedly there are many such things.

One such thing that isn't, is Chapters on Parnell Street.  Never mind its indigenous competitors Easons, Hodges Figgis, and Hughes & Hughes  -  or Waterstones from the land o'er the wave.  Chapters is the best bookstore in Dublin.

I should point out at this juncture that I don't have shares in Chapters, nor have I received any dodgy brown envelopes, either real or insinuated.  But if you're looking to get a couple of gifts for Christmas - and you're one of the unfortunate souls who gets drawn into all of that - or if you are just looking to get a couple of good reads for yourself, like moi, I really can't think of a better place. 

As an example, I will cite the "Ultimate History of Porsche" hardback above.  208 colour glossy colour pages containing a comprehensive history of the German car manufacturer, whose founder gave us the famous - and once ubiquitous - VW Beetle, from whose rather humble lions spurted the present-day Porsche 911 Turbo S, with its 0-60mph time of 2.6 seconds (Road & Track Magazine test).  Yours Sir/Madam, for €6.99.   The book, I mean.

If you're not into automotive history - and I imagine many of you aren't - the store has plenty to offer by way of world, European and Irish history.   R.F. Foster's "Modern Ireland 1600-1972 " found its way onto the Gombeen Nation recommended reading bookshelf, and Tony Crowley's "Wars of Words - The Politics of Language in Ireland 1537 - 2004" (Oxford University Press) can be picked up for a very democratic price there night now... one of the best books I have read in some time.

Even more so than the first-mentioned tome on Ferdinand's best.  And that's saying something, for me.

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Harald said...

"I should point out at this juncture that I don't have shares in Chapters, nor have I received any dodgy brown envelopes, either real or insinuated. "
You still did not learn anything from Sean Gallagher, so? ;-)

The Gombeen Man said...

Ha ha, Harald. I'm thinking of going out and buying a spade to dig a deeper hole... ;-)

Dakota said...

As Harald is hinting at there GM don't mention the E word.
Who would have thought we would have to do a jig around the word? And who would have thought GM that the Irish would have become fixated with such a word?
Funny to think, it's only one of those strange anomolys which belong to the Irish, it encapsulates all the lies, denial, guilt, myth and legend of all the citizens present at the time.......all rolled into the collective consiousness and presented in the form of one word. No wonder the late Dr Anthony Claire said Ireland was a far more interesting nation than the UK. (I don't think he was been very kind when he said it mind).

Must have a rummage around that illustrious bookshop GM, though, haven't been there in many a year! Some interesting literary recommendations as well! GM you really surpass yourself sometimes. ;-)

The Gombeen Man said...

Acute observation, D. Harald's got it spot on. Are there other countries where such a seemingly innocent object can conjure such connoctations in the public mind? So much so that one graces the sidebar of our dear blog?

I'll say no more on the matter, for fear of making things worse.


john said...

I was going to spend money on a few books, but with the news od poor Sean Quinn goning bankrupt in NI, I must send the money to help such distressed gentle folk. How can we let this happen with the approach of the festive season?.

The Gombeen Man said...

John, you are spot on. Time to get a collection going to aid such captains of industry in their time of need.

Please send donations (cash only folks) to the address below, and I will ensure it gets to those most in need:

Gombeen Man
Gombeen Manor
Dublin 15

john said...

As we are at it,GM, let us not also forget the unhappy folk at RTE, according to the Sindo,
"Some of RTE's well-known faces are struggling to pay mortgages and other bills, according to Ireland's biggest talent agent.

Noel Kelly has spoken out against the backlash RTE presenters are facing over their pay -- revealing that some of the personalities are struggling to make ends meet on their current salaries."
How can we think of books with so much distress!! I suggest that the dear readers of your blog gather st the modest homes of these distressed folk, to offer some kind carols and perhaps a food parcel?

The Gombeen Man said...

John, if we want to keep the world-leading talent at RTE, this is the very least we can do.

Otherwise, how can we hold on to the likes of Marty Whelan, Pat Kenny, Marian Finnucane, and such top-quality programmes such as Celebrity Jigs and Reels and Celebrity Banister?

Ella said...

Hi GM, it's true Chapters is a great bookshop, with generally very democratic prices, even for a skinflint like myself! I'm afraid I don't go for the weighty tomes you go for, but rather the latest thriller and crime book.

Another inexpensive bookshop I pass on my way to Chapers, whilst traversing the Islac Centre, I think it's called bargain books. And it really is - 3 books for a tenner!

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, I've had a couple of Stephen E Ambrose (Band of Brothers fame) books from there, Ella.

Well worth a detour on the way to Chapters.