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UCC’s bookshop forced to close due to competition from online retailers

Johns Smith’s Bookshop in UCC will close its doors on Friday, November 21.

 It will be with great sadness that we turn the key on a shop we’ve devoted 11 years of blood (thanks to perma-paper-cuts), sweat (those heavy accounting books don’t carry themselves upstairs) and tears (of happiness on finding someone as excited about John Steinbeck as we are). My long-serving colleagues and I will look at each-other and feel silly at our sadness that we won’t be reopening its blue doors. After all, it’s just a shop. It’s not really though, is it?

Since the news of the shop closure broke, we have been absolutely inundated with lovely messages of support from both UCC staff and students. The warmth they have expressed and their sadness at its loss has been truly heartening. It’s comforting to hear these thoughts expressed by both new and long-standing customers. We thank you all for your kind words and custom.

Over the last few years, we’ve toiled to give students what they need at a price they can afford. When not busy alphabetising, our time is spent crunching the numbers to try to compete with the monster that is online retailing (Amazon, I’m looking at you.). Alas, we could only hold back the tide for so long and must bow out and accept defeat with grace. . John Smith’s will remain in the form of a digital outlet and is committed to continuing its service to the UCC community. However, I can’t help but hope you will miss the singular joy of spending time in the bookshop browsing through our shelves, coffee in hand and picking up an unexpected bargain.

I am immensely proud of my team (Rose, Jane, Michael, Matthewand Ger). They are the type of booksellers that think Shakespeare puns are funny and believe paper is kinder to the eyes (and soul) than a computer screen. They have responded to the loss of all our jobs with renewed energy, focus and determination.

There will be tears when we stand in the empty space that was once John Smith’s Bookshop, UCC, but until then, call in to us and help us celebrate the last 11 years.

You will find us dancing, giving away freebies in exchange for jokes and telling you all you need to know about the books you need to get.

Claire Fitzgerald

Bookshop Manager

John Smith’s Bookshop




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