12 bookshops across the country have been longlisted for the ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ category at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards, the annual literary event that celebrates and promotes Irish writing and authors to the widest range of readers possible. The ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ category is designed to acknowledge the significant role played by independent bookshops and local branches of bookshop chains in helping their local communities to find and savour the titles of their choice. Previous winners include Kennys Bookshop and Art Gallery, Galway in 2021 and Bridge Street Books, Wicklow in 2022.
Customers were asked to vote for their favourite bookshops and to explain the reason for their choice. The bookshops that received the most votes were then longlisted and invited by the judges to enter a written submission.
Mystery shoppers will now visit the twelve bookshops as part of the judging process to establish the shortlist of six bookshops. The shortlist will be officially announced on the 19th October. The overall winner of ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ will be presented with their trophy at the An Post Irish Book Awards event on 22 nd November along with a prize worth €15,000 from An Post Commerce.
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 2023 will be no different. Other categories in the An Post Irish Book Awards include Novel of the Year, Children’s (Junior and Senior), Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Non-fiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry, Teen and Young Adult and Irish Language.
Brendan Corbett, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, says:
“Bookshops are at the core of communities’ all throughout Ireland and act as a cultural and social hub for many. We introduced this category to highlight the significant role Irish bookshops play, not only to their communities and readers, but also to the Irish book business. I’m delighted to see such deserving bookshops on the longlist and wish them all the best of luck.”
Dawn Behan, Chair of Bookselling Ireland, says:
“Booksellers have such an important role connecting readers with books they love and it truly is wonderful to see them getting recognition. Bookshops foster a love of reading in communities, especially for those new to the word of literature, helping them find titles they will enjoy. The An Post Bookshop of the Year award acknowledges Irish bookshops and it’s great to see such a diverse longlist.”
Commenting on the important role bookshops play in local communities, Garrett Bridgeman, Managing Director of An Post Mails & Parcels says:
“Bookshops are an integral part of local and wider communities throughout Ireland as their accessibility with ecommerce has changed immensely in recent years. Bookshops open up a world of possibilities for every age and are a place of joy, solace and enjoyment for so many people. Here at An Post Commerce we are proud to work with bookshops across Ireland and we celebrate the twelve bookshops listed here and all that they represent.”
The shortlist for all categories in the An Post Irish Book Awards 2023 will be announced on the 19th of October, while the winners will be announced on Wednesday 22 nd November. A television programme will be broadcast on RTÉ One television in December and will culminate in one of the 2023 winning titles being announced as the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2023’.
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.