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Chapters was established by William Kinsella in 1983, initially in Wicklow St, Dublin 2, selling predominantly secondhand books; it quickly expanded to include remainder and then new books, gaining a strong foothold in the Dublin Book Market. A second shop followed in Middle Abbey St, a third in St Stephens Green Shopping Centre at launch in 1988 and finally a fourth in Henry St in 1991, before moving to its current home in Parnell Street, Dublin1.
Chapters' current home is Ireland's largest independent bookstore. The 32,000 square foot unit carries a wide selection of secondhand, accompanied by a massive selection of new and bargain books, Chapters has everything you didn't know you were looking for!
“I love walking into a bookstore. It's like all my friends are sitting on shelves, waving their pages at me.”
A new chapter for Chapters …
Words like institution, gem, foremost, important, stalwart are constantly bandied around, but with no real sense of weight or gravitas. After 40 years in business as an independent bookseller, with a hugely extensive, eclectic range of new and secondhand stock, Chapters announced in October 2021 that they would be closing the doors of Parnell Street on January 31st, 2022. The response to this was both shocking and gratifying; people contacted the store from around the world to express their affection for and disappointment that Chapters would be going, customers queued down the street to load shopping trollies with treasures that they found on our shelves and tables.
As always, Ireland likes to buck a trend and contrary to widespread opinion, we as a nation still love books and bookshops … so as breaking up is hard to do, Chapters reopened on Friday 11th March 2022.
Willie Kinsella, founder, mentor and bibliophile really did want to retire and spend more time reading books, rather than working on them, so he has sold the store to his protégées, Kevin Neary and Michael Finucane, co-founders, and former directors of GameStop Ireland. In a perfect example of the circular economy, Neary and Finucane opened their first shop in a 50 square meter space at the back of Chapters old store in Middle Abbey Street – 25 years of friendship, admiration and shared understanding of retail and championing customer choice came home.
Although vastly experienced in retail and retail environments, the new directors believe the secret to Chapters continued success will be to leave it alone; investment will be made in improving the IT infrastructure and stock visibility systems, plus converting the website for ecommerce, but other than these changes, the manager Sara and members of her old team reopened the doors for business as usual.
Staying true to the ethos of Chapters and its vision of making books more accessible, Chapters have introduced a 50% trade back offer when you buy a new release book, guaranteeing 50% back in store credit when you trade back withing 30 days - just look for the purple sticker.
As for Trade Ins ... one of the most frequent questions we are asked is "Are you taking trade ins?" Our answer is that we always want your books! It's your great taste that adds to the uniqueness of Chapters ... our Secondhand department is eclectic, esoteric and sometimes bizzare ... but it also really, really good! You can trade against new or secondhand books, for store credit to use another day or simply take cash and do something different.
We are looking forward to seeing you in store or online.