Endangered or evolving? Independent bookshops move with the times.
If you don’t know Dublin, College Green is the very heart of the city, the hub from which you can reach Grafton Street, Christchurch or cross the river to O’Connell Street in a handful of minutes. If you drew a regular triangle across the junction between the august facades of Trinity College and the Bank of Ireland, the unassuming old doorway of Books Upstairs could be the unlikely third point. Despite its grand and crowded surroundings, Books Upstairs remained humble and hushed, secretive and almost mysterious, as any good bookshop should be, its disorientating curved shelves and creaking makeshift mezzanine crammed with curious volumes begging for attention. It reminded me of Carl Conrad Coreander’s shop in Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story.