The Book Centre & Barker and Jones
Waterford | Wexford | Kilkenny | Naas
Our Independent Book Stores are located in Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Naas, Ireland.
The Book Centre has been in business since 1971 and is a family owned and run local Irish Company. Each of our unique stores are very different to each other. They all offer a large range of books, children's books, school books, magazines, greeting cards, gifts, and stationery. There is an in-store Cafe in all our shops where our customers can relax and browse the latest books.
The Book Centre, Waterford
The Waterford Store is located in Waterford City, and is housed in the old Art Deco styled Savoy Cinema which was built in 1937. The screen, stage, ceiling and many other cinema features can still be seen on a visit to the store. The photo below from the Annie Brophy Collection shows the Savoy in 1953. You can read more about the Savoy, and Cinema in Waterford in Architecture Ireland's online article "When the Lights Go Down - Waterford's Love Affair with Cinema"
The store was recently described as a "Larger-than-life bookshop" when it was chosen in an national news feature:"Irish independent bookshops you must visit before you die" A large mural was painted in the screen area of the old cinema by local artist Ben Hennessy. The in-store Cafe in the Waterford store was featured in a recent news article titled: "12 of the cosiest cafés in Ireland to chill out with a good book"
LovinDublin.Com featured The Book Centre in a travel feature titled: "34 Amazing Things Waterford Has That You Won't Get in Dublin"
During the Waterford Walls International Street Art Project 2016 the back wall of The Book Centre was dramatically transformed by street artists DMC - Dermot McConaghy and JMK - Jonny McKerr. This was the view of the wall from the Little Patrick Street car park.
During August 2021 the back wall of The Book Centre was repainted with this spectaular and enormous painting on the back wall of The Book Centre, Waterford (Little Patrick Street Car Park).
The painting is part of the Waterford Walls - International Street Art Festival. The painting is by David Maker and Land Perez who make up the collaborative group Maker and Land. The Spanish duo have an International reputation for their talented skills in realistic depictions of various subject matter and a strong sense of colour theory. Funded by The Book Centre Waterford through the Wall Owner Scheme 2020/2021, and Sponsored by SLí Waterford through the Sponsor a Wall Scheme 2021.
A new shopping column in The Irish Times recommended readers to: "Pick up a paper and take a pew in The Book Centre, a browsable bookshop cum café in an old art deco building , once home to the Savoy Cinema,whose screen and stage features have been retained....(buy a book)...order a latte, and read it upstairs in Poppy’s café where lingering is encouraged". Read the full feature here: Shopping Spraoi: Waterford city
Our favourite online review is by Leeann Ryan from The Recommended review website who describes visiting the store and cafe as a "feeling of being cocooned from the bustling crowds on the main square outside"
On 23rd Febraury 2018 The Book Centre, Waterford won the Customer Excellence Award and the Overall Business Of The Year Award at the Waterford Business Awards held in Faithlegg House Hotel by the Waterford Chamber of Commerce.
Catherine Kavanagh, Store Manager of The Book Centre, Waterford and Sean Ryan receive the Overall Business Of The Year Award & Customer Excellence Award at the 2018 Waterford Business Awards held in Faithlegg House Hotel.
We love the "bookish" review that Ryan Tubridy gave us recently on RTE Radio 1 while talking about our bookshops:
"I've been to the shop in Waterford and in the one in Kilkenny, they are are two of the finest bookshops you will visit in Ireland today, beautiful bookshops, with a great bookish vibe of them, if that makes any sense at all, and seem to be run by book lovers, they're great shops" - Ryan Tubridy, February 2018.
"This independent bookstore is simply majestic" - Hot Press 'Best of Ireland 2018'. The Book Centre, Waterford was featured in 'The Best Bookstores Around The Country' in the annual Best of Ireland 2018 magazine by Hot Press. The annual publicaton highlights everything that is vibrant and interesting to do and see around the island of Ireland. Hot Press -March 2018. Here is the full Hot Press 'Best of Ireland' recommendation:
"Located in the old art deco building of the former Savoy Cinema, this independent bookstore is simply majestic. With an original cinema screen, stage, and ceiling, The Book Centre boasts a unique atmosphere. For good measure, Poppy's Cafe - nestled snuggly on the premises - is the ideal place to pass an afternoon with a good book. And if you're a long way from Waterford, there are equally enchanting Book Centre stores in Wexford, Kilkenny or Naas!" - Hot Press, 2018.
For Independent Bookshop Week in June 2018, The New York based IrishCentral.com website published an article featuring The Book Centre, Waterford. The feature celebrated the very best of Irish indie bookstores.
"This family-owned business first opened in Waterford in 1971 but now holds locations in Wexford, Kilkenny and Naas in Co. Kildare. Each of their stores is unique but offer in-store cafes and a range of books. Their Waterford store, in particular, is housed in the old Art-Deco-styled Savoy Cinema which was built in 1937. You can even see the screen, stage, ceiling and many other cinema features still inside the store!" -Irish Central.Com
'It’s hard to drag yourself away from the tourist sites when you’re in Ireland but if you find yourself with long hours on a coach, taking some time out of your busy itinerary to pick up some reading material is highly recommended. Luckily, many Irish cities and towns have great independent bookstores that could offer up a hidden treasure to make your journey pass all the more quickly.' https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/independent-bookstore-ireland
We made the national airways again on 1st February 2022 when Ryan Tubridy gave us a great review on his morning RTE Radio 1 show. “One of the best book shops in the country, The Book Centre in Waterford, have you been in that? It is like a cauldron of literary joy.. go there if you are ever in Waterford City, and there is another one in Kilkenny which I believe is excellent, and I think they are a family concern, there are magnificent book shops, so get over there.” - Ryan Tubridy You can listen to the full show here.
Come for the coffee, stay for the cosy...
The Kilkenny Book Centre
The Kilkenny Store is located on the High Street of Kilkenny City.
The building is of historic significance and was originally a terraced three-bay
three-storey house built in 1790, possibly incorporating fabric of earlier house from 1550.
In use as an inn, 1816. Renovated in 1900 with a shopfront inserted to ground floor.
The building is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
The Book Centre, Kilkenny was selected in The Irish Times
Top 100 Best Shops in Ireland 2016.
The store was also shortlisted in The Irish Times Top 10 Best Bookshops.
The Pennefeather Cafe in The Book Centre, Kilkenny
The Wexford Book Centre
The Wexford store is located on South Main Street in Wexford Town.
The building dates back to 1775 and was one used as a Bishops Palace.
This spacious store has three floors including an in-store Cafe on the top floor.
The ground floor and the lower ground floor are dramatically linked by a very large
and stunning wall mural painted by the renowned Irish Artist Patrick Randall.
The Wexford wall mural viewed from the ground floor to lower ground floor
Barker and Jones, Naas, County Kildare
The newest of our stores built in 2005 and located on Poplar Square right in the middle
of Naas Town. This modern store has three floors and a cafe that overlooks the square.
On entering the store you cannot miss the gigantic wall mural that starts at the
ground floor and continues to the top floor ceiling. The Mural is called "The Journey" and
was painted by renowned Irish Artist, Patrick Randall. Patrick describes how the visitor
"undertakes a journey physically and spiritually when visiting each floor"
and that "It is difficult to convey the scale of this mural..
which is possibly the largest modern mural in Europe"
In October 2018, Barker & Jones, was awarded 'Book Shop of the Year'
at The 1st Irish Independent Retail Awards 2018.
Kate Hayes, Store Manager of Barker & Jones, Naas with Catriona, Eimear and Jason
receiving the Book Shop Of The Year Award at the inaugural Irish Independent Retail Awards 2018
at the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel.
Just half of the top floor section of the Naas wall mural which spans the entire three floors.