New Dublin City Book Market

Posted by Wally O Neill on

Have you had a chance to visit the new Dublin City Books & Browsables Market which takes place every Sunday from 11-4pm in St Patricks Park?

As a bookseller, I have to commend Dublin City Council for trying to revive the romanticism and mystique of the ancient city book markets which once flourished along the banks of the Liffey. These ragtag collections of bookshops, book barrow marketers and chap hawkers were the focal point of a melting pot of society. Revolutionary's, aristocrats, philosophers and labourers met on equal ground over a shared love for books.

These markets blossomed during the 18th century as the Irish parliament refused to accept the British Copyright Act and pirate booksellers began legally reprinting any book published in London in Dublin.

In the early 20th century, people like Arthur Griffith, James Stephens and James Joyce were regular visitors to the book markets. Why did Dublin produce such incredible writers? Maybe the Liffeys book stalls helped to motivate and inspire the likes of Behan, Donleavy and Beckett?