Jessa Crispin on Dublin’s Winding Stair bookshop

While focusing on things other than blogging this month, I’ve been running a series on independent bookstores. Below Jessa Crispin of Bookslut, just back from Ireland, considers taking up residence in Dublin’s Winding Stair bookshop.

I would like to move into the Winding Stair bookshop in Dublin. I would be perfectly happy living among the leather seats, the collection of pulpy book cover art, the stacks of Penguin paperbacks from the 60s, popping my head out of the back occasionally to get another reading suggestion from the manager. As I couldn’t quite move in during this last visit, he just pressed into my hands Mia Gallagher’s Hellfire, published by Penguin Ireland, for my plane ride back to the States. I started reading it somewhere over Greenland and continued reading it at the baggage claim, in line for customs, and then waiting for a taxi.

The store itself has been revamped some in the last few years. It’s now less of a books-crammed-into-every-available-square-inch kind of store, and much more selective and easier for browsing. The front room is mostly new books, with secondhand, including a gorgeous version of The Anatomy of Melancholy I was drooling over, in the back.

It’s lost none of its charm in the redesign, and the customer seems less likely to die in an accidental bookslide.


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