What is Ireland Reads?
Ireland Reads is a campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on February 25th.
Louth Libraries has teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the campaign which aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment.
The campaign asks everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day, February 25th.
Why is reading important?
Research shows that reading for pleasure is really important for all of us – no matter our age. For children, of course, it has a huge positive impact on their cognitive development and literacy. For adults, studies have found that reading for pleasure enhances empathy, understanding of the self, and is effective in combatting loneliness.
Reading offers a way to escape and keep mentally active, and to lift our mood, and it doesn’t have to be a solitary experience – you can read with your kids of course, or you might use reading to connect with friends and family. Maybe through a book club, or just swapping recommendations.
How can people join in the campaign?
It doesn’t matter how long you read for or what you read, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid reader, a reluctant reader, a lapsed reader or a new reader, this campaign is for you.
Get a book recommendation at irelandreads.ie: The Ireland Reads website also offers book recommendations, suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 1,500 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 a suitable book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – so you can set yourself a reading challenge if you want - a couch to 5k for books!
Share on social media: Please use #IrelandReads or #SqueezeInARead and share your pledge to read on social media or tell others about your favorite books, recommended reads or the book that got you through Covid.
Who is involved in the campaign?
The Ireland Reads campaign is a collaboration led by the Libraries Development Unit at the Local Government Management Agency, and part of the Healthy Ireland programme.
As well as all public libraries, partners in the campaign include RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Bookselling Ireland, Publishing Ireland, Childrens Books Ireland, the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), the Arts Council, and the National Library of Ireland.
Is this campaign just about library books?
No! We are encouraging people to support local bookshops too. You’ll find a link on the Ireland Reads website to a map where you can find your local bookshop and how to order from it. Most people have that book or pile of books they’ve been meaning to get around to or that old favorite comfort read you keep returning to – what better time than now!
The creative behind the campaign
We’re asking everyone to ‘Squeeze in a read’ on February 25th and well known illustrator Tara O’Brien took that idea and created some lovely illustrations, showing people of all ages enjoying taking the time to read in some unusual places – squeezed into drawers, under beds, in cupboards…
And if you do need something to keep the kids busy while you’re reading, we have turned some of Tara’s illustrations into a lovely colouring book – also available at irelandreads.ie