Book lovers return to stores for personalised service - and bookshop smell

‘Shop local’ mantra highlights importance of independent stores, says bookshop owner

Kevin Gildea in his bookshop, Kevin Gildea’s Brilliant  Bookshop, on Lower George’s Street in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Photograph : Laura Hutton

Kevin Gildea in his bookshop, Kevin Gildea’s Brilliant Bookshop, on Lower George’s Street in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Photograph : Laura Hutton

Volumes of books are piled high in Kevin Gildea’s Brilliant Bookshop, on shelves and on the floor. Beano magazines are strewn next to a board game of Risk, while a Brontë classic sits atop a London A-Z street atlas.

This is a place where you may have to go on tip-toe or hunker down to reach the desired book. Rummaging, says Gildea, is what makes a second-hand bookshop fun and what sets it apart from the clinical scroll of online shopping.

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