New initiative unveiled by An Post Irish Book Awards offers book lovers across Ireland the chance to choose their favourite bookshop
A search is officially underway to find the ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ for 2021. The category has been added to the upcoming An Post Irish Book Awards, the annual literary event that celebrates and promotes Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible.
The new ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ category is designed to acknowledge the significant role played by independent bookshops and local book store chain branches right across the country in helping their local communities to find and savour the titles of their choice, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Customers simply have to click onto www.anpost.com/bookshopoftheyear to submit their nomination for their favourite bookshop. They will also have the option to explain the reasons for their choice. Readers can also enter by scanning the QR code in their preferred bookstore and following the instructions. Everyone who votes will be entered into a draw to win a €100 book voucher.
Nominations for the ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ will close on 31 August and a shortlist consisting of one shop from each of the five regions (Leinster, Dublin, Munster, Connaught, Ulster) will be identified. The overall winner will be revealed at the An Post Irish Book Awards on 23 November, 2021.
Each year, the An Post Irish Book Awards bring together a vast community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the very best of new and established Irish writing talent and 2021 will be no different. The ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ will now be added to the wide range of other categories already in existence including Novel of the Year, Children’s (Junior and Senior), Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry, Teen and Young Adult and Irish Language.
John Treacy, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, says the new An Post Bookshop of the Year category is a very welcome addition:
“The past year has been tumultuous for all businesses, but what it has shown is that bookshops really do sit at the heart of their communities’ cultural and social lives. They often function as valuable community hubs that encourage personal connection and create vital local networks that greatly enrich the lives of people they serve.
“In the age of eBooks and podcasts, these bookshops are proving that the print book is still very much in demand. We are therefore really delighted to introduce the ‘Bookshop of the Year’ category to recognise and acknowledge the important role bookshops and booksellers play in the Irish literary industry.”
Aoife Roantree, Chair of Bookselling Ireland, says the organisation is fully supportive of the initiative:
“Bookselling Ireland are delighted that bookshops and booksellers are being celebrated in this way and that the best of Irish bookselling takes its place alongside the best of Irish writing and publishing. These last two years have demonstrated more than ever the incredible bond between bookstores and their communities as well as between Irish booksellers and Irish writers. As Sebastian Barry recently said “Our bookshops are the lighthouses for every writerly boat on the ocean. Without them we cannot set sail. They are the little churches and heroic temples of our endeavours.”’
Commenting on the resilience of bookshops over the last year, David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, said:
“We are forever impressed by the business acumen and creativity of the many great local Irish bookshops and their ability to reach and engage with different audiences, as demonstrated through their commercial resilience and collaborations over the last year in particular. We want bookshops from all over Ireland to be recognised and praised in this new category for the really extraordinary impact they have made by nurturing and anchoring customers and communities in 2021.”
The shortlist for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 will be announced on Thursday 21 October, while the winners will be announced on Tuesday 23 November.A television programme will be broadcast on RTÉ One television in December and will culminate in one of the 2021 winning titles being announced as the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021’.
An Post is also continuing with their hugely successful #ReadersWanted campaign, celebrating the value and joy of reading and encouraging everyone to pick up more books, more often. Simply search for the hashtag online to get involved.
For a range of reading recommendations, check out www.anpost.com/readerswanted