Squeeze in a read! New Irish campaign aims to get people reading

Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors, and others for the campaign, which is part of the Irish Government’s Keep Well initiative and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment. 

Ireland Reads is a new campaign to get Ireland reading this February in the up to Ireland Reads Day, Thurs, February 25. 

The campaign is asking everyone to “squeeze in a read” on Ireland Reads Day. A new website – IrelandReads.ie –  has been set up where people can pledge to read on the day and see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far. 

The website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from Irish librarians all around the country. A website user can simply enter their favorite 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 partners and libraries all over the country will be running “Ireland Reads” initiatives and events throughout February in the build-up to Thursday, February 25. 

Frank Feighan, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health and Well Being said: “As part of the Healthy Ireland ‘Keep Well’ campaign, ‘Ireland Reads’ is about promoting the power of reading for enjoyment and wellbeing.

“It’s about encouraging everyone to regularly take some time to sit and read a book, a poem, a comic, a newspaper or to ‘start a new story’- whatever works for them,” Feighan said.

“In a year when we have all been searching for new ways to keep active and creative, and to step away from our daily routines and connect with others, reading offers a way to escape. There is growing evidence that reading can lift our mood, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life.” 

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, says Colette Byrne, Kilkenny County Council Chief Executive on behalf of the public library sector.

“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, newspaper, or magazine,” Byrne said.

“These are all available free online and at any time to library members. Libraries and library staff are waiting to welcome people back whenever that is possible, but until then we always have books to remind us of other people, other places, and better days. So, this month please pledge to take some reading time for yourself or to share with family.”

Find out about all that’s happening for Ireland Reads, get book recommendations, and take the pledge to read on Thursday, February 25 at www.irelandreads.ie.

Squeeze in a read! New Irish campaign aims to get people reading

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