Ireland Reads is a new campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on Thursday, February 25.
Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the campaign which is part of the government Keep Well initiative 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 Thursday, February 25.
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.
Right now, many of the activities we used to take for granted are not available to us, but you can always enjoy a good book – or a newspaper or magazine. 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.
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.
A new website www.irelandreads.ie has been set up where the public can pledge to read on ‘Ireland Reads’ Day, February 25th, and check to see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far.
The Ireland Reads website also offers book recommendations, suited to a person’s 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 a suitable book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – a couch to 5k for books!
Campaign partners and libraries all over the country will be running ‘Ireland Reads’ initiatives and events throughout February in the build up to Thursday, February 25th. You can get details at irelandreads.ie
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.
While libraries are not currently open for borrowing or borrowing due to Covid restrictions, library members can use the library Borrowbox service online and choose from more than 43,000 eBooks and 33,000 eAudiobooks.
We’re also encouraging people to support their local bookshops. They have had a really tough time throughout Covid and have done all they can to keep going, keep taking orders and keep people stocked up with books. You’ll find a link to a map of bookshops on IrelandReads.ie.
And Ireland Reads is not just about books – if you want to read a magazine, a newspaper or a comic, that’s great too!