When it comes to whiling away the hours, there are very few places in Dublin better suited to the task than Clement and Pekoe.
Top-notch coffee (and tea), super-sound staff, a gorgeous decor and a clientele that gives the place a unique sort of energy, it really does tick quite a lot of boxes.
But it's also got something that not many other places can boast: a diverse, fascinating and quite often bizarre selection of non-fiction books to leaf through as you sip on your beverage, and pick up bits of information you'd simply never encounter in normal life.
Here are a few to check out next time you're in the area.
This compelling and comprehensive History of Photography
Charting the period from the birth of photography itself, around 1839, to the present day – or the book's publication date of 2010 – this is a joy to leaf through not only for photography buffs, but for anyone who appreciates the art of the still image.
This one that charts the history of Doo Wop
Doo Wop might be a sound we all recognise, but some of the artists and pioneers of the movement – which paved the way for rock'n'roll and revolutionary pop cultural giants such as The Beatles – have been forgotten. This coffee book tome goes right into the nuts and bolts of what made the era so special.
And this one about vinegar
And you thought it was just something to throw on your chips, or maybe use to make a dressing. Nope! Like its good pal, salt, there's an intriguing and sometimes baffling amount to learn about this stuff.
Will you use it in your daily life? Probably not (with some exceptions, such as the one below). But it's strangely interesting all the same.
This one with a focus on 21st Century design...
Like the photography tome, this is one that will be of particular interest to those in the field, but will also be fascinating and enlightening to anyone who likes to take in the world around them.
Or this one that goes back a few steps further
Ditto – albeit with a gorgeous, warm, retro feel.
And not forgetting this one dedicated to Linoleum
Speaking of retro. We're hitting peak nerd-out here, but there really is something unputdownable about this one, charting the history of the material to which most of us don't give a second thought.
Or, to put it another way, charting the history of design from an angle we'd never have thought about before...