Bookshop Twinning Tour of the World

September 4, 2017

I’m on my holidays this week.

A very strange holiday some might say. It is a holiday of silence. A self-imposed holiday of silence. I have disconnected from the World Wide Web, left my WhatsApp for dust and told Google, politely, to Function Off!

Every now and then a break like this is required. It enables one to reflect and collect oneself. It also allows one to speak in the third person singular, because there is nobody else around to tell one that one sounds like a plonker.

So, anyway, the week of abject silence (in an effort to finish a short story for a pressing deadline). It was not all that bad.

O.K, O.K, it was terrible, awful, so hard. The first day I was rocking the silence, no technology, no people, no communication. I brought several books, a mixture of fiction, thought provocation, spirituality, cookery… (don’t ask…random smash and grab through Books@One’s amazing second hand shelves).

Why would one (see what I mean… the plonkster rears its ugly head again) bring all these books on a weeklong, silent, writing retreat, when the aim of the aforementioned retreat is to write…WRITE…not read.

As any self-respecting literature/creative writing teacher will tell you, in order to write you must read. So ever the good student, I got to it!

We all procrastinate in different ways. Sometimes, if I have a writing project, I will do anything, and I mean anything, to not have to sit at my desk.

To procrastinate on this current project after about day three, I decided to get in my car and search for Wifi reception because I NEEDED…needed to look up something on Google…a fact upon which that crux of my sub, sub-plot rests and my opus cannot go any further without me, the writer,  gleaning this elusive fact.

So along the way I come across a bookstore… And herein stems the beginning of our Twinning Series (Just in case anyone from Twinnings Tea is actually reading this, we are open to co-sponsors, particularly for expansion of our touring budget...). I, with market-research on my mind, approached this bookstore with interest. And here is what I found!

 Jones and Co., Carndonagh – the most amazing little bookstore, jam-packed with classics and modern fiction, antiques, the most comfortable reading chair, charming staff and lovely bunches of flowers. It felt like stepping into someone’s front room. If there had been a kettle on the boil I probably would have helped myself to a cuppa.

Jones and Co. manages to twin old world with modern literary titles. The shop is friendly, warm and inviting, the selection of books immense. Their Penguin Classics section is worthy of mention.

I whiled away several hours in this amazing bookstore. I even had the best chats with the staff, with owner Ruth McCartney, breaking rule number one of my silent retreat.

But in fairness, it was totally worth it.

Thus begins our Bookshop Twinning Tour of the World. We will be twinning with a number of bookshops around the globe, bringing you insight into the bookstores of the world, so you can put them on your to-visit list.

As for me and my silent retreat, let’s just say it was more subdued rather than silent.

Check out the link below for Jones and Co. If you are in Donegal, it is totally worth a visit.

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Co. Mayo, Ireland