I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

The Book

Britain Brought To Book

Back in 1988, in a speech in Bruges, Margaret Thatcher laid down the law to the Europeans as to how they should run their show. She did at least acknowledge, however, that Europe was something with which Britain was connected.

Cheap and Cheerful

George Orwell thought that paperbacks were a good idea, particularly for the reader. But he also thought publishers and booksellers should combine to suppress them.

Prizes at Leipzig

Germany's second biggest book fair, at Leipzig, is oriented towards the reading public rather than the trade. Over the last week it attracted 186,000 visitors, a record.

In a Spanish bookshop

It is surprising perhaps to stumble across a small independent bookshop in a side street, and it can be even more surprising what you will find in it.

Expelled from the Word Hoard

Is it good news or bad news when 'selfie' is added to the dictionary? And what if 'sepia' is chucked out to make room for it?

This Won’t Hurt

In among the dross, occasional nuggets of gold can be found at the bottoms of the pages of many academic works, the historian of learning Anthony Grafton suggests.

Wandering Jews

The late historian Tony Judt rose from a poor London Jewish background to become a world-renowned scholar and political thinker. Would he have achieved the same had he been born in Ireland, where his father shipped up in the 1930s?

It’s Poetry: Read it Out Loud

A new anthology of poetry for young people with links to through smartphone or tablet to recordings will make the best Christmas present - evvah.

The thickness of books

Books are a different class of object, argues Toby Munday, profoundly unlike magazines, newspapers, blogs, games or social media sites. They will be damaged if they are treated as if they are the same.

The Literary Racket

Edgar Allan Poe was resolutely unimpressed by the modus operandi of the press, and in particular those sections of it in which literary opinions were offered and books reviewed.

More gin for the editor please

William Maginn, who died 170 years ago today, was a child prodigy from Cork who became a brilliant newspaper editor in London. But sadly, the drink got to him.

Forty days of sunshine

The Book of Kells will be joined by some other outstanding Irish manuscripts on display in Trinity College Dublin in 2016.