Blink and you’ll miss it.
If you’re down Whest enjoying the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Skibbereen town, you may fancy a jaunt out towards Castlehaven and along the Wild Atlantic Way to catch the stunning views from the cliffs in Toe Head.
And if you’re lucky, you might spot one of our new favourite hidden gems as you travel the winding road under the canopy of native birch trees, with only a single sign at the gate to let you know it’s there: Inanna Rare Books, Readers Garden & Vinyl Garden House.
Run by Holger Smyth, whose wife, Nicola Smyth, runs The Time Travellers Bookshop & Gallery and Antiquity Bookshop and Vegan Café in Skibb’, Inanna House and Garden is a quiet oasis nestled in the woods just before Liss Ard Estate… and it’s a book lovers’ dream.
Inanna is an antiquarian bookshop boasting a huge selection of old maps, manuscripts and rare books on everything from Irish history to Greek philosophy, sport and Japanese folk art.
The old house is a bright, welcoming space with large, old-framed windows and big comfy reading couches so you can sit and enjoy flicking through your picks all afternoon or sip a coffee made-to-order by Holgar himself under the ancient trees outside.
A little exploring of the grounds will also reveal the vinyl collection, kept company by the poetry section in the vinyl garden.
The bookshop itself is named after the goddess Inanna, an ancient Mesopotamian associated with love, war, beauty, sex, justice, and political power.
If you’re looking for an excuse to visit, the Smyths are bringing together professional booksellers from all over Ireland, UK, USA and The Netherlands, with different areas of expertise and extremely rare collections to a three day book fair on Inish Beg in August.
Inanna Bookshop and House is open from April to September Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.