What is Ireland Reads?

A national celebration of reading.

Throughout February and especially on Ireland Reads Day, February 24th, we’re calling on people across Ireland to get lost in a good book. It doesn’t matter what you read, where you read or how well you read, as long as you read.

Because taking time to relax and do things you enjoy is important and reading is good for you. It relaxes your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. Studies have even shown that reading boosts your mental health by reducing stress by up to 68%.​

Ireland Reads is an initiative of the Government of Ireland to celebrate the joy of reading. It is funded by Healthy Ireland and supported by public libraries and many organisations that promote reading, literacy and the arts.

All you have do is sit down for a read, for as long or as short a time as you can, and lose yourself in an adventure, a thriller, a romance, a comedy or all of the above.

So go on, get lost.

A stack of books

Looking for a book to get lost in?

Time
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Found 2613 Books

    2 of 2613    

We Played with Fire by Catherine Barter

The Midnight library

by Matt Haig

If you squeeze in 30 minutes a day, you can read this book in approximately 19 days

If you squeeze in 1 hours and 10 minutes a day, you can read this book in approximately 8 days

Get this Book at the Library   Get this Book at a local Bookshop

Did you know there are 330 library branches all around Ireland? Find your local library here

Events

Click on your province to find out about just some of the events going on near you.
Check with your local library for full listings and details.

Ulster

A conversation with Michael Harding and Dani Gill

Join Cavan Libraries for a coversation with writers Michael Harding and Dani Gill.

  • Where: Johnston Central Library, Cavan Town
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Cavan Libraries

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Literature and Landscape – Donegal Writers and the land that has influenced them.

Join Donegal Libraries for talks by a number of Donegal writers on how the landscape of the county has not only featured in their writing but how it has influenced it. This is a fantastic opportunity to present Donegal to the world as place apart, one that has inspired and continues to inspire writers from the Four Masters and their annals to Booker Prize winning authors.

  • Where: Buncrana Library
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Donegal Libraries

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Leinster

Ireland Reads: Meet Molly and Bram!

Join author and illustrator Alan Nolan as he talks about his hysterically historical children’s books Molly Malone and Bram Stoker in The Sackville Street Caper and Double Trouble at the Dead Zo. Hear all about the ‘real life’ Molly and Bram, and learn how to draw a character from his upcoming World Book Day 2024 Molly and Bram book, The Curious Case of the irish Yeti!

  • Where: Blanchardstown Library
  • When: February 24th 11am
  • Audience: Kids 7+
  • Library Service: Fingal Libraries

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Dublin Writers and the Art of Conversation

The writer Lady Gregory, reflecting back on her life, once observed that conversations with her friends had enriched her writing, teaching her “swiftness in putting thought into a word, a sentence”; and this has been true for many writers. Hidden beneath many of the great literary works of Dublin’s writers are lost conversations, words that passed through the air before they were formulated into sentences on a page. For some writers, talking was important enough that they organised regular literary salons, opening their houses to one another on a particular night every week, where they gathered to discuss life and literature. This talk will look at a few of those Dublin literary salons, the writers who frequented them, and their cultivation of the art of conversation.

  • Where: Dublin City Library and Archive, 139-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
  • When: Wednesday, February 21st
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Dublin City Libraries

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Gerry Daly: author / illustrator workshop

Join Kilkenny Libraries for an event with author and illustrator Gerry Daly

  • Where: Loughboy Library, Kilkenny City
  • When: February 23rd at 11am
  • Audience: Kids
  • Library Service: Kilkenny Libraries

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Monster Reads for Ireland Reads

Junior Infant classes from St. Anne’s N.S. and Navan Educate Together in Navan will visit for an introduction to Navan Library, including time to browse, a special Storytime and Monster Doodle session with author / illustrator Tatyana Feeney.

  • Where: Navan Library
  • When: February 22nd
  • Audience: Kids
  • Library Service: Meath Libraries

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Finger Puppet Making Workshop featuring Folk & Fairy Tales

Create your own finger puppet based on folk and fairy tales and have fun acting them out. Finger puppets in storytelling fosters skills in reading, vocabulary building, grammar, and general knowledge.

  • Where: Wicklow Town Library
  • When: February 24th at 2pm
  • Audience: Kids 5+
  • Library Service: Wicklow Libraries

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A performance by Niall de Búrca

On the morning of 24th of February, Edgeworthstown Library will host a special Ireland Reads Storytelling session with the internationally famous Niall de Búrca. This is a family-friendly event. Niall de Burca is a scéalaí; a traditional storyteller from the west of Ireland. Hugely popular with audiences of all ages, Niall has shared the Irish storytelling tradition on six continents in countries as diverse as Korea, Latvia and South Africa. “His ability to evoke a wide range of emotions from his rapt audiences enables him to bewitch people with his stories and make listening to him as well as watching him an unforgettable experience“ The Vienna Review

  • Where: Edgeworthstown Library
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Adults and families
  • Library Service: Longford Libraries

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A performance by Niall de Búrca

Awesome Niall de Burca, spinner of stories and weaver of words, in Mullingar Library at 10.30am for Ireland Reads.

  • Where: Mullingar Library
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Adults and families
  • Library Service: Westmeath Libraries

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Comic Book Workshop

Are you a Comic Book fan aged between 8 and 12? – Join us to celebrate Ireland Reads Day on Saturday 24th February 2024 in Carlow Library. Ever wanted to create your own comic book cover? You will learn to do just that with artist Declan Pierce who will explain how the cover of a comic book comes together with image and lettering. Not to be missed for young comic fans. An Artist with training in classical animation, Declan will guide budding comic artists through the process of illustration in this exciting workshop.Booking required – email library@carlowcoco.ie

  • Where: Carlow Library
  • When: February 24th 10am and 11.15am
  • Audience: Kids 8-12
  • Library Service: Carlow Libraries

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Manga workshop with John Carpenter

Join a Manga workshop hosted by Louth Libraries. Booking is required, call 042-9353190 to book your place.

  • Where: Dundalk Library
  • When: February 24th at 2.30pm
  • Audience: Kids 10-14
  • Library Service: Louth Libraries

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Bookstagram

Join social media influencers @nursefancypants and @tiredmammybookclub as they discuss the influence of social media, online book clubs, and the effect of the book reading/reviewing Instagram community on reading habits. Chloe and Sinéad will look at the uptake in reading since the pandemic started and how the library services can be of use to the reader and book clubs.

  • Where: Lucan Library
  • When: February 22nd at 7pm
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: South Dublin Libraries

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Get Lost in a Good Book

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown LexIcon has a great line up of events planned for children, families and adults, including story time yoga, a treasure hunt, craft events as well as invigorating author talks. Come along to one of these events or simply pop in to find out all that dlr LexIcon has to offer, our staff will be on hand to help with all your book and non-book related queries!

  • Where: Lexicon
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: All ages
  • Library Service: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries

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Writing the Deadwood to Life

Join Kathleen Murray, author of numerous short stories and the novel The Deadwood Encore. (Harper Collins, 2022) for a discussion on writing and reading

  • Where: Wexford Library
  • When: 2pm February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Wexford Libraries

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Date with a mystery book table.

We’ll check out a wrapped book to you and who knows ..it could ne the beginning of a beautiful friendship with a new author

  • Where: Enniscorthy Library
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Wexford Libraries

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Celebrating 25 years of The Gruffalo with a very special story time

Celebrating 25 years of The Gruffalo with a very special story time

  • Where: Enniscorthy Library
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Children aged 4-5
  • Library Service: Wexford Libraries

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Best selling author Andrea Mara

A talk with best selling author Andea Mara. To register your interest in attending, please contact Portlaoise Library directly on 057 8622333 or email portlaoiselibrary@laoiscoco.ie.

  • Where: Portlaoise Library
  • When: 2pm February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Laois Libraries

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A visit with Patricia Gibney

A visit with million copy best selling author Patricia Gibney

  • Where: Edenderry Library
  • When: February 14th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Offaly Libraries

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A zoom interview with Mark O’ Connell, author of A Thread of Violence

A zoom interview with Mark O’ Connell, author of A Thread of Violence. View at Tullamore Library or register to get the link.

  • Where: Tullamore Library
  • When: February 22nd
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Offaly Libraries

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Connacht

Tallest Smallest Theatre at Your Library

Some theatrical fun for all the family in Galway Libraries for Ireland Reads

  • Where: Oranmore Library and Loughrea Library
  • When: February 24th at 11am (Oranmore) and 2.30pm (Loughrea)
  • Audience: Families
  • Library Service: Galway Libraries

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Mary Murphy author visit

Mary Murphy is an author-illustrator who specialises in colourful, bold, and simple images for younger children.

  • Where: Sligo Central Library, Ballymote Community Library and Tubbercurry Community Library
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Kids
  • Library Service: Sligo Libraries

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Nora, Nora Barnacle and James Joyce

A talk and Q&A with Nuala O’ Connor about her novel, Nora, Nora Barnacle and James Joyce

  • Where: Mohill Library
  • When: 11am February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Leitrim Libraries

Visit by Poet Amy Abdullah Barry

Visit by Poet Amy Abdullah Barry

  • Where: Boyle Library
  • When: 11.30am February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Roscommon Libraries

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Mike McCormack Ireland Reads Book Club

Join Mayo Libraries for a special pop-up book club and meet the author Mike McCormack. To sign up & request a copy of the book, email librarymayo@mayococo.ie

  • Where: Castlebar Library
  • When: 4pm February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Mayo Libraries

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Afternoon tea with local authors

Celebrate Ireland Reads Day with fantastic local writers, Kate Kerrigan, Faith Hogan, Carmel McMahon and Margaret Molloy as they discuss their lives in books and reading. All are welcome Refreshments included!

  • Where: Ballina Library
  • When: 2.30pm February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Mayo Libraries

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Munster

The Four Faced Liar Showcase (Issue 2)

Join Cork City Libraries for a showcase of issue 2 of The Four Faced Liar with some stunning readings from contributors. The Four Faced Liar is a Cork-based journal that showcases the best of fiction, poetry,creative nonfiction, flash, art and photography. Issue 1 was a huge success and sold out three print runs, with names such as Jan Carson, and an interview with Danny Denton. Issue 2 showcases an array of new and well-established writers and artists -with an interview with the incredible poet Victoria Kennefick, and cover art by Deirdre Frost.

  • Where: The City Library, Cork City
  • When: February 24th at 2.30pm
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Cork City Libraries

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Literacy Based Painting Workshop

Join Waterford Libraries and Waterford-based artist Kiki for a literacy-based painting workshop for 8-10 year olds at 11am on Ireland Reads Day 2024. Waterford based artist Kiki.Space is limited so booking is essential, phone 051 849755 or email ardkeenlibrary@waterfordcouncil.ie. For more details about Kiki https://kikiroosli.com/pages/my-story

  • Where: Ardkeen Library
  • When: February 24th at 11amh
  • Audience: Kids 8-10
  • Library Service: Waterford Libraries

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Little Readers’ Open Mic hour

For Ireland Reads 2024, Bandon Library wants our younger readers to share their love of reading. They are invited to take the stage (and the mic) and read a section of their favourite book. We hope that this will help other participants to find new books to enjoy, and each child who takes part will get a certificate to commemorate their helping us celebrate Ireland Reads 2024.

  • Where: Bandon Library
  • When: February 24th at 2pm
  • Audience: Kids up to 12
  • Library Service: Cork County Libraries

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Book Recommendations from Junior Book Club and Comic Club Members

Our savvy readers will be able to recommend lots of new books for you to try, on action and adventure, fairy tales, funny books, comics, sci-fi, sport, myths and legends, mysteries and a whole lot more.

  • Where: Scariff Library
  • When: 11am – 1pm February 24th
  • Audience: Kids 7 to 12
  • Library Service: Clare Libraries

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Something old, something new: Writepace writers in conversation about their favourite books

Writepace – the Limerick Writers Group founded by author Sarah Moore Fitzgerald in 2016, will host an animated and wide ranging discussion on books and reading. Each of them has chosen ‘something old’ (a novel they have always loved) and ‘something new’ (a novel published within the last year that they recommend) and together the discussion will build a reading list for those interested in building a new TBR (To Be Read) pile. Suitable for all adults from 18 and above, this event will take place in Limerick City Library on Saturday 24th February @ 1pm.

  • Where: Limerick City Library
  • When: February 24th
  • Audience: Adults
  • Library Service: Limerick Libraries

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Our Partners & Ambassadors

Thanks to our incredible partners and ambassadors who are helping to get Ireland reading for Ireland Reads!

A boy eats breakfast at a table with his father
Patricia Forde
Emma Donoghue
Paul Lynch
Liz Nugent
Rick O'Shea
Melatu-Uche Okorie
Dave Rudden
Colm Toibin
Sarah Webb
The Arts Council logo
The Borrow Box logo
The Children's Books Ireland logo
The Government of Ireland logo
NALA logo
The RTÉ Supporting the Arts logo
National Library of Ireland logo
Laureate for Irish Fiction logo
Adult Literacy Ireland logo
Age Friendly Ireland logo

Rick O’Shea

Broadcaster and Presenter of RTÉ’s The Book Show

Rick O'Shea

The last few years, more than others, are the years we need reading in our lives most.

For me it’s always been a brilliant way to escape, keep my mental health on an even keel, learn new information and developments that change my view of the world, fall in love with incredible characters, meet old friends having new adventures, experience pasts and even futures that I couldn’t otherwise, and even travel when I haven’t been able to!

I am thrilled that the Ireland Reads initiative is happening and I hope it kick-starts reading all year round for you!

Paul Lynch

Author

Paul Lynch

We live in a time when reading has become more difficult than ever. That smartphone in your pocket pokes its way into thought and will not leave you be. Our attention spans have been shattered by life in a modern world and sometimes it seems we do not know ourselves anymore. What are we to do?

We can win back our attention by reading more books. Find a nice chair and turn your phone off. Even better if you can put it in a cupboard or a safe. Can you read for 20 minutes without needing to turn it back on again? Good. Now try for half an hour and repeat. Push through the urge to distraction and remember that what you practice grows stronger. Remember, too, that the smartphone is not so smart after all. You might ask, what is it really doing for you?

Social media is designed to reflect a version of yourself back to you. When we read, the inner lives of others become known. We see into other worlds, other times, and think and feel in a way that only great writing makes possible. The best writers take you to soaring heights (and depths) from which you can see the world anew. Consider, too, that whisper in the ear from another writer as an invitation to be still in yourself, to sit with that deeper part of the self from which the best ideas come free and inner wisdom becomes known. In the tumult of modern life, we need again to be still and listen. Let reading be your compass.

Paul Lynch is the Booker Prize-winning author of Prophet Song

Liz Nugent

Author

Liz Nugent

A love of books and reading was the greatest gift my father ever bestowed on me. Stories are available and free (libraries!) to everyone.

Through books, I have travelled all over the world, and to other worlds. I have solved and committed ghastly crimes. I have learned about great historical figures and little-known obscure ones. I have learned to cook and, if I wanted, I could learn to assemble a light aircraft or play a tuba. I have expanded my vocabulary and looked forward to bedtime and have laughed or cried myself to sleep, depending on the pages on my pillow.

Books are my solace and my escape and we have all needed one or the other at many stages of our lives.

Dave Rudden

Author

Dave Rudden

It is my great pleasure to be an ambassador for the 2022 ‘Ireland Reads’ campaign.

As a former teacher turned author, I have first-hand experience of the connective power of reading at any age. The magic of being transported to other worlds and other times is one thing, but what I find far more important is that very particular teleportation of stepping into other people’s heads.

Any reading is good reading, because reading reminds you that we all have our own plotlines – our own battles, our own triumphs, our own losses. I think there’s no lesson more important than that.

Sarah Webb

Author

Sarah Webb

Above everything, I’m a reader.

Books and reading mean so much to me. I could live without a lot of things, but not without books. They inform me, entertain me, help me step into other people's shoes, make me wonder. They are there when I'm well, when I'm sick, when I'm rested, when I'm tired.

They are my dear friends, my loyal companions. From old friends like Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters (a wonderfully immersive summer holiday book) or Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (one of the best books about creativity out there), to shiny new children’s novels, I love them all! 

Patricia Forde

Laureate na nÓg

Patricia Forde

Books have been my constant companion since my mother taught me to read at the the age of four. My childhood was consumed with stories and library books. I have travelled into space and under the sea. I’ve committed terrible crimes and solved convoluted mysteries, all while sitting comfortably in my own house. Most of all, as a teacher, a parent and as a writer I have seen the difference that reading for pleasure brings to the life of a child. I am delighted to support the Ireland Reads campaign.

Colm Tóibín

Author and Laureate for Irish Fiction

Colm Tóibín

Reading is done alone and in silence, but the sense that books are also enjoyed by others and discussed widely makes reading communal and a rich part of a shared culture. The Ireland Reads campaign responds to the impulse readers feel to talk about the books they love and pass on the experience to others. The pandemic was a good time for readers; no one asked us to be socially distant from a book. But it was also a time when readers could feel isolated, in need of others to discuss literature, to make the experience of reading deeper and more textured. This makes the Ireland Reads campaign even more essential.

Marian Keyes

Author

Marian Keyes

I was an anxious, lonely child, but when I read my first Enid Blyton book (‘The Twins at St Claire’s’) my mind was blown. Suddenly, I had a gateway to another world – to infinite worlds. I was able to escape the discomfort of being me by immersing myself in the lives of others..

Since then, reading has been my saviour. No matter what was going on for me, books comforted me, befriended me, made me laugh, made me think, gave me a breathing space and cocooned me from the world.

The ability to read is my superpower.

Melatu-Uche Okorie

Author

Melatu-Uche Okorie

I love reading because it gives me heroes. I also get to go to different places in my mind's eye, fall in love, be sad, get angry, laugh at other people's idiosyncrasies, all in a matter of minutes.

Resources For You

Want to spread the joy of reading and encourage others to get lost in a good book? Here are some beautiful posters, colouring-in sheets, videos and other resources to help you promote Ireland Reads or your local events.

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