Ireland Reads is aiming to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on Friday, February 25th.
Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the campaign, which is part of the government’s Healthy Ireland programme and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment.
The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day, Friday, February 25th.
The pledge to read can be made at www.irelandreads.ie where you can also see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far and sign up for reading reminders.
The website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available.
There are more than 1,500 book recommendations from librarians all around the country for all interests and reading levels. Visitors to the website can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and the website will offer the perfect book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – so users can set themselves a challenge if they’re finding it difficult to get back to reading.
Library members can borrow from 12 million items completely free or use the library Borrowbox service online to choose from more than 40,000 eBooks and 30,000 eAudiobooks. Members can also get free access to online newspapers and magazines.
A number of well-known people are on board to help promote the campaign, including Colm Tóibín, Marian Keyes, Rick O’Shea, Liz Nugent, Joe Duffy, Daniel Mulhall and others, You can find out what reading means to them and why they support the campaign at www.irelandreads.ie.
Campaign partners and libraries all over the country will be running ‘Ireland Reads’ initiatives and events throughout February in the build up to Friday, February 25th. All early learning and care settings (ELCs) will also be invited to take part in a ‘Little Libraries’ Ireland Reads event.
Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development said, “I am delighted to support the Ireland Reads campaign for the second consecutive year. This campaign is an important public libraries initiative – marking a day aimed at celebrating and encouraging reading by people of all ages.”
“My Department of Rural and Community Development has invested heavily in our library service in recent years and will continue to do so. As we come out of this Pandemic, we must continue to place a focus on our own mental health and wellbeing. So I would encourage everybody to join me in pledging to set aside some time during this month to sit back and relax with a good book and discover the joy of reading.”
Frank Feighan, TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health and Well Being said, “as part of the Healthy Ireland programme, ‘Ireland Reads’ is about promoting the power of reading for enjoyment and wellbeing. It’s about encouraging everyone to regularly take some time to sit and read a book, a poem, a comic, a newspaper, whatever works for them. There is growing evidence that reading can lift our mood and improve wellbeing throughout life.”
Colette Byrne, Kilkenny County Council Chief Executive on behalf of the public library sector urged, “whether you rediscovered reading during lockdown, you’re a long-time reader, or you haven’t read in years, Ireland Reads is a great chance to set some time aside and join in a national effort.”
“Why not also pledge to try something new this month? There are thousands of recommendations on the Ireland Reads website and if you don’t like the first book you try, that’s no problem, because libraries have millions more for you to choose from. Books, newspapers, magazines, audiobooks are all available free to library members so join up and get borrowing!”
Find out about all that’s happening for Ireland Reads, get book recommendations and take the pledge to read on Friday, February 25th at www.irelandreads.ie