Thirty-four Irish bookshops for your online Christmas shopping

Ireland has no shortage of home-grown websites to buy presents from this holiday season

Dozens of Irish companies, including Charlie Byrne’s, in Galway, sell books online. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Dozens of Irish companies, including Charlie Byrne’s, in Galway, sell books online. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy


This guide is part of 400 – yes, 400! – Irish retailers for all your online Christmas shopping
The Company of Books, based in Ranelagh in Dublin, offers a click-and-collect service as well as a postal service. It can also deliver itself within 2km of the bookshop.
No visit to Galway is complete without a browse in Charlie Byrne’s. This is the city’s largest and loveliest independent bookshop, with new and second-hand books on sale. Browsing online is not the same, but it is still a thing of wonder. And the money stays in Ireland.
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. We deliver books across Ireland. If you don’t see what you are looking for, simply contact us and we will try our very best to get it for you.” Just one reason why shopping local is so much better than the alternatives.
We have long loved the books in this collection. They are full of love and warmth, and although they may have been born out of great sadness, they have also given a huge amount of joy to parents and children everywhere and to children’s charities across the country.
Eason is the bookshop where millions of Irish people, spanning three centuries, have learned to love books, and its site is well worth a look.
This is a year that most of us will never forget but – fingers crossed – 2021 will be less memorable. Get Up & Go sells all kinds of diaries, and they are all quite lovely.
The Book Shop has more than 50,000 second-hand books for €2 or less, with free delivery on orders of more than €20. It has other books that cost more than that, too. Lots and lots of them.
Kennys, which celebrates its 80th birthday this year, has the longest-running online bookshop in the world – take that, Amazon. It often matches the big boys on price and beats them on quality.
The Gutter Bookshop is a lovely store run by lovely people in Dublin and Dalkey.
Dubray is a great bookshop with helpful and informed staff. The website is pretty good, too, with a lot of books we would all do well to read.
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.
O’Mahony’s, a Munster-based family-run bookshop, has been in business since 1902.
In the market for children’s books? They’re something the people at Halfway Up the Stairs know a lot about.
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. What more could you want?
We would be lost without our independent bookshops. Bookworm, in Thurles, Co Tipperary, has been posting books to people all over Ireland and, we are told, has being playing a blinder as a community resource since Covid-19 hit, last spring.
Tertulia is an independent bookshop in Westport, Co Mayo.
Bags of Books has a great-looking site packed with titles for all the children in your world.
Tara Book Company sells a vast array of books primarily aimed at a younger audience.
Antonia’s Bookstore, in Trim, Co Meath, will be celebrating 15 years in business. It is operating click-and-collect and free delivery in the town but can ship to anywhere in the world.
Recently named Bookshop Heroes by the Bookseller trade magazine, the husband-and-wife team of Brian Caliendo and Ailbhe Finnegan have run their Sligo shop since 2009, but the Caliendos have been on site for 90 years, first as a well-known restaurant.
Lesley Price of Bridge Books, in Dromore, Co Down, is another of the Bookseller’s Bookshop Heroes. Price followed her childhood dream and opened her Bridge Books 25 years ago. During the spring lockdown, she went to great lengths to source and deliver books with thoughtful personal touches. She also started offering book bundles, and fundraised to supply books and stationery to the local children’s hospice.
Philip’s Bookshop, started in Mallow, Co Cork, in 1989 by husband and wife Philip and Catherine O’Flynn, has marshmallowed – I mean mushroomed – since. Their daughter June joined in 2008, and last year they took over the former Dunnes Stores building.
Woodbine Books in Kilcullen, Co Kildare, was named Ireland’s Independent Bookshop of the Year 2018.
Dingle Bookshop claims to be the westernmost bookshop in Europe. It also boasts: “We don’t just have the book you wanted, we have the book you never knew you wanted!”
One of Dublin’s oldest and best-loved bookshops, Books Upstairs is also home to the Dublin Review of Books.
Sheelagh na Gig in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, sells wholefoods and wholesome books. It’s open for takeaway coffees and is offering a click-and-collect book service, as well as hampers of books, chocolates, books, gifts and, er, books,
Raven Books is a small independent bookshop in Blackrock, Co Dublin, offering a general mix of new and second-hand books.
A small gift shop on Drury Street in Dublin, Tales for Tadpoles sells books, prints and other products for children. The print collection includes well-known illustrations and characters from books such as Winnie the Pooh, the Moomins and Miffy, as well as lots of Quentin Blake illustrations (from Roald Dahl’s books).
Kidiko specialises in personalised toys and gifts, books and wooden toys. Based in Co Galway, the company says its personalised rocking horses, play kitchens and trikes are going well at present.
Opening Minds stocks schoolbooks and stationery, plus a great range of toys, from brands such as Melissa & Doug, Bigjigs, Lego, Orchard, Galt and Ravensburger. Check out Opening Mind’s terrific wooden toys, as well as its microscopes and science kits.
The Bubble Room, an independent toy and children’s book store in Skerries, is a world of wonder by the north Co Dublin coast.
Gorgeous idea. The folk at the Book Resort put together gift boxes with books, chocolate, fancy soaps and more, all of which is delivered to you or to someone you like a lot in a lovely scented box.
Six0Six makes gifts for the book lovers in your live. We love the map keepsakes too. All the items are handmade by a local artist in her Kildare studio.
We love the Little Museum of Dublin, and now we also love its online shop, which sells books (for adults and children), games and high-quality souvenirs with a Dublin connection. There are also books it has published in-house, including Kwaidan: Ghost Stories of Lafcadio Hearn and The Golden Age of Dublin, which tells the story of the Georgian city.

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