Bookselling Ireland and Publishing Ireland were joined in Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, by authors and reading advocates Rick O’Shea, Niall Breslin (Bressie) and Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen to announce the 2019 Irish Book Week dates – Saturday 26th October to Saturday 2nd November. Celebrating Irish published books, Irish authored books and Irish interest books, as well as the wonderful bookshops in which to buy them, bookshops across the country will be hosting events, window displays and promotions throughout Irish Book Week.
Authors helping to celebrate Irish books and the central role bookshops play in Irish society and culture include: Wendy Erskine, E.R. Murray, Vera Twomey, Claudia Carroll, Joe Duffy, Brian O’Connell, Sarah Fitzgerald, Vicky Phelan, Louise Phillips, Alison Hackett, Úna-Minh Kavanagh, John McKenna, Mary Cregan, Adrian Duncan, Gilles MacBain, Cethan Leahy, Catherine Kirwan, Helena Duggan, Richie Sadlier, Jane Landy, Eoin Larkin, Alan Nolan, Sinead Culbert & Sue Collins amongst others. To find out what’s happening pop into your local bookshop and follow Bookselling Ireland on Facebook and Twitter.
The week aims to encourage people into their local bookshop and to highlight the important role bookshops play in the fabric of Irish life – fostering cultural creativity, community spirit and generating economic activity. Bookshops often fulfill a wider role than just selling books – acting as a community meeting point, a tourist information point, and a cultural hub. They are integral to supporting the Irish publishing industry, which adds to the social and cultural richness of the country.
Speaking about his reasons for getting involved, author Niall Breslin said: “Growing up, record stores were always such a core part of the high streets across towns and cities. The buzz of going into one and browsing through the albums was a huge part of my childhood. With the onset of the internet and its affect on the music industry these vital places started to close down all over the country and I still miss them. Bookshops provide this same impact for many. Getting lost in the shelves is always such a brilliant way to spend some time in this fast moving dynamic society of ours. Luckily the internet didn’t have the same impact on the book industry as it did on the music industry and it is important we preserve the crucial importance of bookshops in our villages, towns and cities.”
Authors of the bestselling Aisling series Sarah Breen & Emer McLysaght added: “We’ve been in Irish bookshops up and down the country these past few years and have been blown away by the hard work, kindness and dedication of the people running them, as well as the talent of Irish writers on the shelves. We are delighted to be Irish Book Week ambassadors and to fly the flag for a nation of storytellers.”
To support the campaign, Bookselling Ireland have also launched the Find Your Local Bookshop app, which allows consumers in Ireland to search for bookshops local to them. The app lists all Bookselling Ireland bookshops in the Republic of Ireland and automatically shows the consumer the bookshops closest to their location. Consumers can search by location and bookshop name. They can also limit their search to academic booksellers, chains, children’s, Christian, independents and school suppliers. Each search result returns the key contact details for the shop, as well as directions from the consumer’s current location, opening hours and available services.
“I love spending my time these days promoting books and Irish authors just for fun; it’s a genuine privilege that Irish Book Week have asked me to do it as a job, for a week at least!” Rick O’Shea.