Irish Book Week programme unveiled

News - Bookselling Friday, 19 October 2018

The inaugural celebration of Irish books and bookshops takes place 27 October - 3 November

The first Irish Book Week takes place from 27 October - 3 November, a nationwide celebration of Irish books and bookshops. A collaboration between Bookselling Ireland and Publishing Ireland, the week will see events taking place throughout the country, celebrating Irish books and the central role bookshops play in Irish society and culture.

Authors celebrating Irish Book Week include Donal Ryan, John Boyne, Paul Howard, Rory O'Connor, Hazel Gaynor, Fionnuala Kearney, Carmel Harrington, Julian Vignoles, Lynn Buckle, Conal Creedon, Conor O'Clery, Cethan Leahy, Shona Shirley MacDonald.

Author and Irish Book Ambassador Donal Ryan (pictured) said: "I'm honoured to be chosen as ambassador for a week that celebrates books and booksellers. Books are precious, and shops full of paper and ink books are sacred places, fortresses of empathy and light in this darkening world."

Fourteen-year-old children's books ambassador Sarah Fitzgerald added: "Bookshops are an integral part of our communities and I am delighted to be supporting this super initiative Irish Book Week. Children who read think more, feel more, know more, listen more, empathise more, learn more, write more, understand more, succeed more and are more often happy. Who wouldn't want to get behind this?"

Economist Jim Power's Economic Assessment report in Bookselling Ireland, The economic contributions to – and impacts on - the economy of Ireland’s bookselling sector, comissioned in 2018 by Bookselling Ireland, highlighted the significant contribution of €6.6 million to Revenue through payroll taxes, business taxes and local authority contributions. The industry contributes a total €132m to the economy, both directly through sales activity, and also indirectly through the increased economic activity that it fosters elsewhere (aggregate GVA).

The sector is also a significant employer, Bookselling Ireland's 234 members' outlets providing the equivalent of 1,796 full time jobs, estimated to pay a gross wage bill of €35.9 million. These jobs also support 1,437 jobs in the broader economy. In total, the bookselling sector supports 3,233 jobs through direct, indirect and induced employment.

John Keane, chair of Bookselling Ireland, said: "Ireland has such a rich literary heritage and we are delighted to place that centre stage with Irish Book Week. A visit to your local bookshop always brings something different, and we are encouraging people to check in and see what is going on in their local community."

Ivan O'Brien, president of Publishing Ireland, added: "Irish people love to read and talk about books, and share them with family and friends. Irish Book Week reinforces the message that books and bookshops are the best place to find a story that will engross, educate and entertain."

Some of the events taking place throughout Irish Book Week:

Saturday 27 October
Waterstones, Cork – 4pm, reading with Lynn Buckle and Conal Creedon
WHSmith Arnotts, Dublin – Halloween themed storytime events

Sunday 28 October
Clifden Bookshop – 3pm, in conversation with Donal Ryan
WHSmith Arnotts, Dublin – Halloween themed storytime events

Tuesday 30 October
Eason O'Connell St, Dublin – VIP night with Rory O'Connor (Rory's Stories)

Wednesday 31 October
Hodges Figges, Dublin 2 - Halloween family event with Shona Shirley MacDonald
Eason, Newbridge – 2pm, Hazel Gaynor, Fionnuala Kearney & Carmel Harrington

Thursday 1 November
Hodges Figgis, Dublin – 6pm, in conversation with John Boyne and Paul Howard
Blessington Bookstore – 7.30pm, An evening with Conor O'Clery
Waterstones Cork – 7pm, talk about Rory Gallagher by Julian Vignoles

Friday 2 November
Blessington Bookstore, Wicklow – 3pm, signing with Michael Russell
Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, Galway – 6.30pm, launch of Lost and Found 111

Saturday 3 November
Barker and Jones, Naas – 11am, signing with Donal Ryan
Blessington Bookstore, Wicklow – 12.30pm, signing with Donal Ryan
Woodbine Books, Kilcullen – 2pm, in conversation with Donal Ryan
Waterstones, Cork – 4pm, reading with YA author Cethan Leahy

Throughout Irish Book Week, WH Smith at Dublin, Cork & Shannon airports will run a promomotion with Poolbeg supporting Irish authors, there will be in-store promotions with Books Ireland and at Dublin Airport lounge – Books Ireland magazine and WHSmith voucher giveaways to passengers.

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