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Irish public pledges to read for more than 400,000 minutes on Ireland Reads Day, tomorrow February 25th

Thousands of people have pledged to ‘squeeze in a read’ for Ireland Reads Day, February 25th. So far, more than 400,000 minutes of reading have been pledged for the national reading day, organised by Libraries Ireland as part of the Keep Well campaign. A live tracker of the total number of minutes pledged is available at

The Ireland Reads campaign encourages everyone to get stuck into a book, a newspaper, a magazine, whatever they want to read for pleasure and wellbeing during Covid-19.

A new website has been set up where people can pledge to read and get a book recommendation suited to their interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country. A website user 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 – a couch to 5k for books!

Campaign events

Campaign partners and libraries all over the country have been running ‘Ireland Reads’ initiatives and events throughout February in the build up to the day.

A national Ireland Reads online event is scheduled for 7pm on Thursday, 25th February, Ireland Reads Day. Join ‘The Great Escape’ hosted by Rick O’Shea with author, Sebastian Barry; Professor Luke O’Neill; librarian, Catherine Gallagher; and, reading advocate Sarah Fitzgerald discussing how reading has helped them get through lockdown. Full details on how to watch live are available at

Speaking ahead of Ireland Reads Day, broadcaster and Ireland Reads ambassador Rick O’Shea said:

“Ireland Reads Day is a brilliant opportunity for people of all ages to take some time for themselves, discover or rediscover the benefits of reading, and to shout about what they love to read! I think that, more than most other years, 2020 and now 2021 are the years we need reading in our lives most because reading can help us imagine that other worlds are possible and better days are ahead. I am thrilled to support Ireland Reads and I hope it kickstarts a year of reading for people right across the country.”

Rick is among a number of well-known campaign ambassadors from the worlds of writing, science, sport, health and broadcasting who are on board to help promote the campaign, and you can find out what reading means to them and why they support the campaign at

While libraries are not currently open for browsing or borrowing due to Covid restrictions, library members can use the library Borrowbox service online and choose from more than 44,000 eBooks and 33,000 eAudiobooks.

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