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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Bookshops, fairies & things

All my favourite shops will be opened in Dublin tomorrow. Already, the tram and buses have started their run. It's St. Stephen's day today and Dublin feels reverential. It's still a quiet time.
Nostalgic for Melbourne in that sudden fleeting way, I pictured the sunny city celebrating an excitable chatter of scattering crowds on a classic Boxing Day sale. The annual buzz signals a heralded moment deemed sacred for the bargain enthusiast and window-shopping addict, where expensive objects can be had for a steal.
Think prized electronic gadgets for one.
Here in Ireland, I was frazzled with the last-minute rush on Christmas Eve and observed how dificult it was for bookshops to contemplate an early drawing of blinds.
Dozens of a robust crowd thronged the doors to pick up small stacks of novels, biographies and picture-books, as last-minute gifts for family and friends. It proved a gratifying ascertainment for me, the reader and writer, just to spy on the swelling crowds that had laboriously built up in the last fortnight.
I thought how auspicious indeed for any hopeful author who may have commanded pride of place in the front displays, either on shelves or tables. A closer inspection of book jackets - no matter the colours or graphics - would definitely have been on the cards for the keen browser.
I suspect the average Irish bookseller, to have drummed up satisfactory monetary gains to provoke a seasonal cheer for keeps.
At Eason, the cleverly stored literature on Irish folklore, fairy tales, leprechaun stories, peasant tales and myths and legends had promptly vanished. Angela Carter's applauded fairy tales, were nowhere to be found.
On the contrary, the otherwise popular series of spooky Irish ghosts and hauntings proved a sorry leftover in its lone, mismatched fashion. Not the time of year surely I presumed when people desired an icy chill or the Snow Queen abductor, secretly huddled, in their Christmas stockings.

For extra reading, the link to 'fairy tales' draws a colouful observation on the bizarre implication of ancient folklore in a careful study, essayed by Elizabeth Lowry in The Times Literary Supplement, London

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