Absolutely one of my favourite places in Dublin.
While they're (justifiably) best known for their second hand section (which I am forever grateful for for FINALLY getting me a copy of The Honourable Schoolboy), the general section downstairs is nothing to be ignored either. It's got a very wide selection with many titles discounted, and every time I've gone looking for a book I've either found it, or they've been happy to order it for me. Every time I've ordered a book, it's arrived in only a couple of days.
Definitely the kind of place you can get lost in for some time!
Chapters is one of those places I have a love/hate relationship with.
I love that I can go browse for ages and kill some time there, and sometimes find something interesting. They also seem to have so much more than Easons, especially when it comes to Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
I hate that:
- Whenever I do find something quirky that I want, it costs an arm and a leg. Last year bought something here as a pressie and then realised I'd have saved over 20 euros had I bought it online. 20?? Really?? Holy cow...
- If browsing the used items, you have to look really carefully as the same book will have different prices, sometimes up to 2 euros difference!
- When they have a "sale" table, they always have book 2,3 and maybe even 4 .. but never 1. Which means I have to either pay full whack for the first one (thats if they even have it) or buy them, go home and order the first one from Amazon :|
I wish they had a place to sit with a coffee. If so, I'd be there every lunch time to kill some time.
Actually, I was there when I needed a road map for Portugal. I could not find one, but stayed there for almost an hour due to their good selection of books. They lack a little bit in the tourist guide department, but for biographies and novels it is a great place.
Best bargain bookshop in Dublin. Not the greatest selection if books, but a good place to buy a book as a present. The upstairs second hand section is very good for academic books, and guilty pleasure reads
They are so feckin nice in there - genuinely nice. It must be a great place to work because they all seem so down to earth, eclectic, in love with books and just chilled. Please be my friend?
After much delay I got this month's book for the Yelp book club. "The Elegance of the Hedgehog." For more info on this monthly event just check it out in events. OK plug over.
A superior bookstore staffed with smiling folks that just make you smile in return with your new story in hand.
Warning! WARNING! If you like books or a broad range of subjects then stay away! :P
I walk in here looking for one subject/book... look down stairs... another section catches my eye... browse there... make my way upstairs to the second-hand section... and repeat! (2 hours later I come out with 4 books.... after putting back 4)
Great collection of the weirder books on any topic!
And then there is the second-hand section... great deals to be had!
(make sure you have a hour or set an alarm!
This review is based mostly on the upstairs of Chapters, where their second hand section is without doubt the best Dublin has to offer. If I'm near Parnell Street I'll usually pop in for a quick look to see if there's any good offers to be had... which usually turns into an hour browsing the foreign language section or the second-hand DVDs.
Downstairs they have all the books you'd imagine a decent bookstore would have, including Dublin's only LGBT section as far as I know.
I love Chapters and have been purchasing regularly there since the early 90's when the store was in Abbey St. At that time I was a student looking for value in books, records, CD's and videos. The vinyl section is gone now, but they still have a fantastic used Book, DVD and CD department upstairs.
The new book department is as good as any other bookstore, but usually much better value. Furthermore the staff are courteous, knowledgeable and I recognise many of them from when I started visiting all those years ago.
If they had a good coffee shop on site I would give them 6 stars if possible!
One of the things triggering my homesickness the most here in Dublin is the lack of good bookstores.
Books are an integral part of my life since I learned to decipher the TV listing in search of "Captain Future" at the age of 4, and books, not TV listings, were my closest friends ever since. In fact, no matter which turn my life has taken, my books have always been a source of inspiration and stability and my first means of escape from this lowly earth.
Since I moved to Dublin I was on a desperate search for decent "used books" stores (like I used to have in my home and university town of Tübingen). I first found "Hodges and Fidges" for new books, which was kind of "okay-ish" but lacked the charm and magic I was longing for.
I would never have thought that an area as rotten as Parnell street would give my digitally wounded soul the fluid it was longing for. Yet I found here, at Chapters, everything I could wish for.
The ground floor is a "normal" bookstore with new books and not a real reason to cross the gates to this realm of paper and literature.
The true jewel is upstairs, where I found a mecca of old books from all categories. I even found a decent choice of used German, French and -behold!- Japanese books (the latter were very, very scarce I admit).
The charms of Chapters used-books section are manyfold. The biggest one for me is the simple fact that I can get lost between all those shelves, the experience is the one I had as a child, when my father would take me to the town library every Saturday (while he was doing the grocery shopping), where I would discover for the first time the joy of losing myself, ending up with random choices of books I often could not digest but opened in front of me a world to discover. No teacher, no official advice guided me, only driven by my guts I digged deeper and deeper into this analog and offline internet of wisdom, trash and fantasy.
I brought all my books with me to Ireland, so I currently don't need to buy books as I have years of reading still waiting for me in my own personal library. But whenever I long for a nostalgic-magical trip into this precious world, Chapters is the place for me - one of the last oasis in life where I don't think of my stupid smartphone any longer and forget that things like e-mail, twitter or even Yelp (sorry) even exist.
Who didn't know and love Chapters on Abbey Street? It was a powerhouse of knowledge and dust and more than the occasional spider. A children's section at the very back of the shop that was removed from everything from the main store. A decent, archaic/chaotic secondhand basement. Cheap books and movies and music.
And on top of all this. It had an amazing building!
But the times, they are a-changin'. And Chapters has evolved alongside Dublin. It has taken up residence on Parnell Street and become an impressive book-seller while maintaining some of it's previous charm. The building is new (and huge) and forms part of the regeneration project around Parnell/Moore/Jervis Street.
The prices are still kept considerably low in comparison to other stores and the massive floor space means that they are very likely to already have what you're looking for. Much of the chaos is lost in the new shop - bright lighting and considerably more organised shelving makes the experience more shopper friendly. The children's section is still at the back of the shop, more as a result of neglect than a thought-out feature though.
Chapters' true saving grace is in it's second floor. Nearly equaling the size of the ground floor, upstairs is dedicated to secondhand books and you can nearly always get what you're looking for there at half the price.
Chapters is one of Dublin's if not Ireland's biggest and best stocked Independent book shops.
I could happily spend a few days lost in Chapters. Their recent move North of the river has allowed them to expand and display fully, the huge range of titles they stock.
Although I miss the higgledepiggledy feel that the branch on Abbey street had , i'm really glad the place has moved to bigger premises and seems to going from strength to strength.
Ground floor is all new (non-second hand) books and theres always titles going cheap. From Cult to classics, art & history you'll more then likely find it here. If not the staff are extremely helpful and scarily knowledgeable and will order in whatever you require. The cashier seemed really interested in the book I was buying as she'd never heard of the author. I know its a small thing but you don't get that online or in a lt of chair bookshops.
Upstairs is secondhand, music and DVD's. They'll buy books as well,depending on the condition.
Chapters also has a blog chaptersbookstoredublin.… which is worth a look.
Chapters is an enormous bookshop on Parnell Street, set apart from the other book shops that populate the centre of town. Having heard many favourable things about it prior to now I was surprised by the lack of character that the huge space sadly afforded it.
I think what it was striving for was an essentially contemporary setting in the midst of touches of old authenticity in acknowledgment to the classic prose and older books it stores downstairs. It sorrowfully fails to accomplish this in neither design nor ambience.
The shop floor is so large it is difficult to track down what you are looking for, not helped by a strewn alphabetical regime that you follow only for it to come to the end on a certain bookshelf, the normal stratagem at this point being to go to the neighbouring shelf and continuing to follow it but within this store things aren't that regimented and so you are left tirelessly trying to seek out what you are looking for. With no endearing quality to the overall shop to compensate for this dire filing system I have not returned.
Two of my BF4EVA's recently marked my birthday with a voucher for Chapters, which gave me a chance to have a browse around a shop I tend to pass more than I should.
The second hand book section is a goldmine. I spot O'Brien's, O'Flaherty's, O' Casey's and all the O' classics you could want at excellent prices, and with glorious old covers.
Downstairs, the staff are as helpful as they come. I leave with two new books, and delighted with my experience. When something couldn't be found on the computer the man behind the desk insisted on coming out from behind it as "I'm sure I saw one of them earlier" and true to his word he had.
Great staff, great selection and one I should drop into more. I'd agree with an earlier review that noted the trade-in prices they offer are low, but if you all want to keep trading in I'm here to pick 'em up ;)
Ah, books are a very important part of my life, second only to coffee! Chapters might have lost some of its charm moving from Abbey Street to Parnell Street but it's still one of my favourite places to spend an hour or even a whole afternoon.
It offers pretty much every genre you can think of from true crime to biographies including a decent selection of graphic novels and most of them are cheaper there than anywhere else in Dublin. There is also a large second-hand and clearance section upstairs where you can find a variety of books even cheaper!
So if you're looking for a good book to read Chapters is the place to go- I'll probably be there as well ;)
I kinda wish in my previous review I had only given this place four stars, so I could have bumped them up to five.
Anyway, why this new found need to sing the praises of this, my happy place, is because of the guy who bought my books today.
As I sold all of my books from the second half of this term, we and I joked about how uplifting Irish drama and poetry is. We had a fantastic conversation about mid-century writers and dramatist. It was a little slice of heaven.
To my mind, there are few greater joys in life than browsing through a shelf of second hand books. Second hand books have a lot more character than new books, are a lot more pleasing to look at and the smell... Oh God, the smell of old books.
I think that there aren't enough decent bookshops in town, particularly on the northside, and as such Chapters is a treasure. Chapters do of course sell new books, but in terms of second hand books, they have a larger variety than anywhere else in Dublin. So if like me, you are taken to rummaging through second hand book shelves for reasons of economy or otherwise, Chapters should be your first stop. It's only drawback is that is in a part of town that you would not necessarily be in if you were shopping, but Chapters really is worth going out of your way for.
Chapters is as good as it gets in terms of Dublin book stores- the staff is always helpful and pretty darn competent- I haven't found anything obscure enough to trick them with yet. The layout makes sense, the stuff laid out for their sales is always a pretty sweet spread, and the prices, even for new and ordered stuff is competitive. plus you get that nice pretentious feel-good mood for supporting a local business.
Another big-ups to the used section, which has always served me well.
Books and alcohol are my only real extravagances in life and when it comes to the former, Chapters is hands down my favourite place to buy.
They have loads of space for the many many books in here. The staff are either the kind of wise old fellas who seem like they'd be the mentor in a coming of age teen drama, or the really attractive female slightly continental college students who read Bukowski and think Dan Brown is shite.
The upstairs of Chapters houses some of the cheapest clearance books you'll ever see as well as tonnes of second-hand books. Which are perhaps my favourite things ever.
Plus it's one of the cheapest places that sells comics in Dublin.
Win. Win. Win.
I heart Chapters Bookstore.
One of my old flatmates took me there when I was on a mission to buy some good history books to send back to Canada (hello Christmas presents!), and it was love at first sight.
I could easily spend hours just strolling all the sections. My two favorite - crime (I studied criminology) and the biography and history sections. Coming from Canada it was my point to learn everything in Irish history not taught in Canadian schools.
To boot the staff is deadly. I could walk up to anyone there with a random request for suggestions, from "What is the best biography on Michael Collins" to "I'm going on a beach holiday and want something fun to read. But dark. And based on a true story with a fragment of fantasy involved..." and they would always give me great suggestions.
My only regret was not buying a couple more biographies on my journeys on my last visit.
After the closure of the Borders-branch in the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, this is undisputedly the mother ship of all indepent and chain-less Dublin bookstores when it comes to size. On their premises, Chapters sells an extensive range of books, music and DVDs, both new and second hand, as well as thousands of bargain priced titles. They even have the whole second floor reserved for 2nd hand books, but this floor may get a bit messy, so if you're looking for a specific title I recommend the ground section (which has also loads of bargain books ready to grab).
Besides the usual in-store events like readings and book signings Chapters also plays host to small shows, as seen during last year's HWCH-festival. And they are on Twitter (twitter.com/chaptersbooks) and have their own blog (chaptersbookstoredublin.…).
Some of the staff needs more fiber in their diets.
Wade through all those foreign nationals and find yourself the best second hand bookstore on the northside...
In the mid 1800's, a man whose name eludes me wrote a translation of The Histories by Herodotus and dedicated it to his good friend Mr William Gladstone. Since then several other, less impenetrable versions of the book have been released thus leading this older version to be shunned by modern bookstores. Not so in this glorious haven of a bookshop where ancient Greek or Roman storytellers are not hidden in the classics section but are given pride of place among modern day historians. This is a shop where the classics themselves are not obscured from view but given a place more prominent than general fiction and equal to that given to the graphic novel section. In short, this place has its priorities right!
But that is not to say its all academic snobbery. It has everything! From martial arts to diaries; from gardening to world war two; from motor sport to law. It has everything a bookshop should have as well as a quite excellent second hand section (which according to their bookmark they give good money for).
As I write I am trying think of a downside to give this review the appearance of being rounded and unbiased but to be honest, its just a damn fine shop. No coffee shop unlike Easons or Waterstones but you're just beside Henry Street so not too much of a difficulty there.
On a final note the sales seem to be pretty good according to woman who bought shed loads of stuff for a euro per item (apparently if it wasn't on sale it wasn't a bargain...makes sense really).
The best bookshop in Dublin, a huge improvement on its days in Abbey Street, it has a huge range of books and always has fantastic bargains in new and used, on one or two occasions I've spent two hours perusing its shelves, can't fault it to be honest .
This is such a handy spot. Upstairs are the secondhand books, and also the desk where you can trade in your old books for cash or shop credit. Downstairs are the new and shiny books and some notebooks, calendars and other useful booky things. I generally trade my books for credit and rarely get out of the shop with any left. There's a few comfy chairs for browsing through books now. The staff are great for finding specific books too, one very busy member of staff happily dug through the Irish History section to find a misplaced book for me, and found it quicksmart. Oh my lovely bookshop credit, soon alas we shall be parted!
The place is amazing. Great value, and you always see people sitting in quiet corners reading. Their audiobooks in particular are the cheapest I've seen.
The bespectacled manager is beyond rude. As someone who has worked in the book business for years, it pains me to say it, but my experience at Chapters makes me root for Amazon.
When you enter Chapters you realise that this isn't any ordinary bookstore. Chapters is basically the mammy of all bookstores, and doesn't she know it! The shop feels like it runs back for miles, and the selection is wide enough to precipitate a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately some of the "bargains" upstairs are a little incredulous. I recently picked up a battered out of date encyclopedia, which documented the history and folklore of my favourite fantasy series. Fourteen euro and it wasn't even that thick! Totally dismayed as didn't have the extra four euro for it; not that it was even worth fourteen euro! There are still some great bargains to be had, but it is a little hit and miss, so for that, four stars for the lovely Chapters.
I do love it - it really was about time someone get their act together and had an organised second hand book section - and Chapters has the whole upstairs. It's great to be able to find a specific book second hand - as opposed to a random rummage. When I know I want books for holidays I head to Chapters as its much lighter on my pocket. And they buy books off you too - I just end up getting store credit and spending it again... sigh!
I love books. This place has a lot of them. I love this place. The staff are pleasant and I can think of nothing nicer than wandering around for hours on end.
Chapters has a couple of things going for it - it's huge and has an incredible used book selection. The organization is a bit lacking however, and it can take forever to find what you are looking for. If you have enough time and love books, this is the place for you. The trade-in value for used books is quite low. My first time here, I saw Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. It worked out well for me, but make sure you get there early for readings, etc.
Chapters is my favourite bookshop in Dublin. There's everything here, from pulp fiction to huge glossy tomes on art history and architecture. Any book-o-phile (if that's a word) will not want to leave. Staff are knowledgeable and can always help you find what you want amongst the sometimes intimidating selection. Upstairs there's secondhand stuff, and I'm told they will also buy and trade books. If you're on the north side and have anywhere from ten minutes to four hours to kill, I can't recommend Chapters highly enough.
Chapters on Parnell street is the best book shop in Dublin for booklovers. The shop accommodates anybodies interests stocking from the latest celebrity chef's cookbook to books on the paranormal and occult - the shop stocks all genres and if it isn't in stock the shop will order it in usually from America at a good price. There are tables throughout the shop which have loads of books on special offer. Upstairs is dedicated to second hand books and music, buying and selling, again all genres.
Chapters is Dublin's ultimate emporium for the book lover. It boasts the largest second hand book selection in the city as well as a massive floor devoted to new books - many at slightly reduced rates. They also sell second hand cds and dvds and even a startling selection of videos.
It's worth setting aside a few hours to rummage through the second hand section. Perfect for a rainy day.
The only downsides are the surly staff and the astronomical prices in the second hand section - but hey, they have to pay for their shiny new premises somehow, and it is a great place.
I love Chapters. I wish it had a cafe though! (Hence minus one star) I love the second hand books upstairs and I've defo bought too many videos there! They are great to follow on Twitter as well.
I absoutley love chapters, simply because they have a GREAT selection of EVERY kind of book. I love the paranormal myself and i have to say that chapters have the best selection and the biggest on this subject. Theres also a pre-owned section upstairs for those who want to watch their pennies. But wheather its a new book or a pre-owned one your still saving lots because thay arent expensive compared to other book stores.
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