‘Unexpected’ queues outside Chapters Book Store after closure announcement

By Fantine Carron

After almost 40 years in business, the Chapters book store announced its permanent closure in early 2022. Following the news, hundreds of book lovers went to pay a last visit to the deeply loved shop.

Hundreds of people came to take advantage of the “2 for 1” clearance sale.  [Photo by Fantine Carron]

Patience was needed this weekend to shop at the Chapters book store as the queue of customers extended in the street. After the announcement of its closure on Twitter this Friday, the shop faced a massive crowd of bookworms who came to make the most out of the bookshop’s last moments.

To celebrate the long history of Chapters, the store launched a 2 for 1 clearance sale set to last until the closure in just a few months.

The store announced its permanent closure on Twitter this Friday. [Source: Twitter]

The store’s owner, William Kinsella told RTE the shop was facing economic difficulty linked to the increase of online shopping and the “loss of tourists and commuters” in the city centre. “The numbers don’t stack up”, he said.

The customers’ responses to the announcement were numerous both online and in store. Many people shared their sadness on social media mentioning stories about how Chapters bookstore was a big part of their life.

Customers online expressed their disappointment after the announcement. [Source – Twitter]

In Chapters store, a large queue of people could be seen all day long in Parnell Street. The exact number of people who came to Chapters this weekend is unknown but an employee shared his surprise.

“We were not expecting this many people to show up so we had to set a limit of customers inside of the shop so you would still be able to move easily”, he said in a laugh.

A queue of around 45 minutes took place in Parnell Street all day long. [Photo by Fantine Carron]

The City met with Connor Perry who has been a customer of the bookstore for as long as he can recall.

“I couldn’t even tell you when I first visited Chapters because it really feels like I’ve been coming here since I was born”, said Perry.

“I remember coming here with my parents and my sister every Friday after school. We would spend an hour, maybe more just browsing through the books, not even buying something every time. It’s just a nice place to spend time in, time flies when you’re looking through everything.”

Perry shared his regret of seeing the bookstore go. “It really feels like a part of history is going to leave Dublin. Chapters will truly be missed and I’m hoping this doesn’t mean the beginning of the end of physical bookstores.”

Connor Perry used to spend his Friday afternoon in Chapters when he was younger. [Photo by Fantine Carron]

Established in 1983, Chapters is the biggest independent Irish bookstore. Its two floors offer a variety of both new and second-hand books. Anything you can think of, you can find in the great assortment of genres going from general fiction, to politics as well as sports, Irish literature, poetry, and many others.

After moving from Wicklow Street to St Stephen’s Green, Henry Street, and Abbey Street, Parnell Street will be the last home of Chapters.

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