I’ve been hearing good things about Books At One for some time now, and I loved the interview on the Ryan Tubridy Show, so I had to go to see for myself. I love book shops, the smell of the books, the thought of the stories that lurk beyond the covers, the sense of peace just browsing, Books At One has all this and more.
Books at One is a collective of locally managed community bookshops. We are a social enterprise ,investing profits in fostering a love of reading for learning, pleasure and connection.https://www.booksatone.ie/
I visited the Louisburgh shop and I could tell from the moment I walked in that there was a great sense of community. There were a couple of people browsing and a lady chatting with the man behind the counter. The Louisburgh shop opened in 2016, followed by Books At One in Letterfrack, Co. Galway in 2020. Plans are underway to open a new branch in Dublin 8 and they hope to open more shops across the country.
Books At One operate in areas of social disadvantage or rural isolation, providing employment, work experience and value added volunteering opportunities. They are so much more than just a shop, they are a community hub, a place where everyone feels welcome.
The shop is bright and airy, I loved browsing the different sections, from books to art supplies, cards to calendars. Just off the main shop is another room with a wide selection of used books, across a wide range of genres. I bought three lovely art books and as I was paying I had a lovely chat with Greg, the manager, he was telling me that they hosted art workshops for local children over the school holidays. He was also explaining that he hopes to get more art supplies in too.
It’s not just the inside of shop that I loved, outside the shop you will see a lovely book bench, a mural, and even ‘dog parking.’ If you are anywhere near Louisburgh I’d highly recommend a visit. Letterfrack is next on my list too. If you can’t get to visit you can shop online here: https://www.booksatone.ie/louisburgh/shop Happy shopping.