Tuesday, 6 April 2010

In the library with the rope...

After my day with Julie Arkell it was straight into holiday mode as Niobe and I took a short break to Dublin for a few days. I thought I'd just show a few of the things that appealed to me starting with the quirky

bar decoration - with sellotaped plates attached to the outside...

Vintagey pub window display...

a nod to Warhol!

an over the top Traditional Irish Restaurant

the very moving homage to the Irish famine migrants

and the wonderful Winding Stair bookcase - recommended by Elaine (Jaboopee) whose blog I've followed for the last year. We met up with Elaine and chatted away as if we'd known each other for ages. If you haven't seen her blog its well worth checking out (see side bar).

This bookshop was different from all the chain bookshops we have over here: there was a table covered with old Penguin books. Wouldn't mind reading "Reading for profit"! Sounds like a great idea!

There were bookcases full of more Penguins in a very informal "living room" style.

This is the only picture I have with any blue sky and I was thrilled that it came out over the famous spire - we did get very soggy!

I enjoyed the little witticisms scattered around the walls like this one...

but oh how I wished the room below was a photo opportunity. Probably the most overwhelming sight I have ever seen (I always wanted to be a librarian so this presses all my buttons!) No photos allowed (this is courtesy of google images)but wall to wall, ceiling to floor leather bound books and, according to our wag of a guide, never read as they are shelved according to size so no-one has ever managed to find the book they want! The galleried sections are shelved up to the gallery rails but there are little doors between each section so technically you could get from one end of this extremely long room right to the other end. What a shame we weren't allowed to walk along the upper section.

The smell of old leather bound books - just exquisite, (not the musty smell of second hand books shops), I could wax lyrical about this for hours. I'm not ashamed to say Niobe asked why I was crying - and I could only respond that I had been totally unprepared for anything quite so wonderful and was completely moved. It could only have been bettered if I could have gone behind the ropes and fingered the books, opening and browsing the old paper and fonts, the marbled endpapers - oh what beauty lies within those old leather jackets. I wanted to trace with my fingertips the letters marking out the shelves from a-z and then aa, bb, cc and so on until you couldn't see the letters as the shelves were so far above my head....


  1. I'm glad you had a good time, and that Elaine and the library were such magnificent ambassadors for us. Those sellotaped plates are stuck in my head now - I think they have a message to many of us about trying too hard. I'm sellotaping this comment to your blog. It's handwritten.

  2. We'll have to call you Reverend Green now.
    It's lovely to see this place from your point of view ,
    It was a real treat to meet you Wend, 2 hours went by in 2 minutes.

    Now that I've done my bit for the Irish tourist board I really hope Mise will be able to use her worthy connections to the trinity powers that be to get you that private walk along the galleried section of trinity library .
    I love that mise's comment is handwritten so I hope she doesn't mind if I shamelessly copy her and write mine too.

  3. What a wonderful advert for this city - I have never been, but I'd love to go.

  4. When I was younger my parents had a bookshop and I could always be found with my nose in a book. I know what you mean about the smell and feel of them. Glad you had a good time in Dublin.

  5. Oooh you've made me want to visit even more hun!
    lovely photos....glad you enjoyed yourselves
    Karen x x x

  6. What a glorious post. That library! eek!

  7. What a wonderful old time you are having! xxxx

  8. Very cool! I can see why they caught your eye.

    Happy blogoversary :)

  9. What a brillaint visit! I've always wanted to go, and now you've given me extra reasons... Thanks for this, and the tip about the buttons on my post.

  10. Hi Wend, found your blog via Mise and BM jars post - love your impressions of Dublin and it's always good to see such a familiar city through new eyes! I like the colourful pub and the Spire (Have you heard the other more colloquial names it's been given by Dublin wits? It's a.k.a. as "The Skewer by the sewer","The stiffy by the Liffey" and "the stiletto in the ghetto", and "the poker next to croker" (the stadium Croke Park is known as Croker)to list but a few.
    Drop by my blog - and follow it if you like it - I will add yours to my list of blogs I follow as I like the look of it!
    All the best, Catherine

  11. Hi Wendy!
    I have a little"Julie Arkell something" for you on my blog!
    Have a nice Sunday