Sunday 17 December 2017

Demise of shops is not final chapter in love story of books

Emer O'Kelly turns a lament into a paean of praise for books, readers and booksellers

I was standing in front of the store directory in Hodges Figgis bookshop in Dublin shortly before Christmas, slightly addled and trying to re-check the location of the poetry section.

One of the assistants came up behind me and asked "Can I help?" and as I turned round, she burst out laughing and said,"What's wrong with you? You know this place better than I do; I should be asking you for help!"

When I admitted to being addled, she told me that all that was wrong with me was I didn't like the Christmas crowds: I liked having the place as my personal domain.

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