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The Best Bookstores In Cork, Ireland

Vibes and Scribes bookshop, Cork | © psyberartist/WikiCommons
Vibes and Scribes bookshop, Cork | © psyberartist/WikiCommons
The shopping capital of Ireland’s southern province, Cork has all the department stores, luxury boutiques and food markets you could hope for. But what about books? The city is home to some of the country’s biggest and best book chains, as well as independent booksellers unique to Cork. Here are the best places to buy books in Ireland’s second-largest city.

Vibes and Scribes

Vibes and Scribes on Corks’ Lavitt’s Quay is one of the city’s most popular shops, loved for its bargains and the diverse range of subjects covered by its book selection. On the shelves here you’ll find the newest fiction and non-fiction bestsellers as well as rare second-hand books. But their stated forte is art, design and photography publications, and they stock a wide assortment of graphic novels. This award-winning bookshop runs a monthly book group that’s open to all – their next meet-up in November will focus on The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale.

Vibes and Scribes, 21 Lavitt’s Quay, Cork City, County Cork, Ireland +353 21 427 9535

Eason and Son

Bookstore, Store
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Eason and Son – known in Ireland simply as Eason’s – is one of Ireland’s most successful retail book chains. It was established in 1819 by the British company W.H. Smith, and bought out by Charles Eason and his son in 1886. Today, their St. Patrick’s Street store in Cork is one of 60 outlets across the country. An expansive store with an up-to-date collection of the latest and best books, they always have price reductions on certain items, and with an Insomnia café upstairs, a booklover could easily spend a happy few hours browsing here.
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Sun:
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Mon:
8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Tue:
8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Wed:
8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Thu:
8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Fri:
8:30 am - 8:00 pm
Sat:
8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Uneeda

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Uneeda bookshop has been a part of the Cork retail scene for over 50 years. Selling second-hand books, CDs and vinyl records, this family-run store on Oliver Plunkett Street is part of the fabric of the city, having remained nearly unchanged over its five decades in business. Tiny but overflowing with charm, a visit here is like stepping back in time.
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Liam Ruiséal

Bookstore
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Even older than Uneeda is Liam Ruiséal, who are delighted to have been selling books to ‘Corkonians’ for nearly a century. Though the specialities of Cork’s oldest bookshop are Irish history – especially Cork history – and school books, they also keep their displays stocked with fresh bestsellers. The focus on Irish language books and Irish culture comes from its founder Liam Ruiséal, an Irish republican and lover of the Irish language who died in 1978. They’re known for their customer service and enjoy the challenge of seeking out hard-to-find volumes.
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Waterstones

Bookstore, Store
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The Waterstones Store on Patrick Street runs regular events and book-signings, and stocks a wide variety of novels, non-fiction and reference books. Though they are a British chain, the Cork outlet – established in 1988 – places a strong emphasis on Irish writers, collating displays of works by up-and-coming Irish authors and hosting events in partnership with independent publishers from Cork, such as The Collins Press.
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Sun:
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 6:00 pm

The Time Traveller’s Bookshop

Bookstore, Shop, Store
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This specialist store will appeal to dedicated collectors, holding an impressive assortment of first edition and signed rare and out-of-print books in subjects from Irish literature to botany and gardening. Unlike some second-hand bookshops, their shop is bright, airy and tidy – making it all the easier to find a one-of-a-kind gem to bring home. If you can’t get to Cork, they offer free worldwide shipping for orders over €60.
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