BOOKWORMS from all over Ireland will be in heaven in September when the 9th annual Graiguenamanagh Town of Books Festival kicks off with a packed programme of events.
Book lovers and shoppers will be able to follow the book and treasure trail through the charming, medieval, Co Kilkenny town between September 16th and 18th to discover thousands and thousands of special, bargain, rare, and specialist books from booksellers all over Ireland and the UK.
The Town of Books Festival has established itself as one of the premier events of its type in Ireland, with something for everyone, young and old. And it is not all about books, with lots of music, talks, walks, demonstrations, craft and food for the whole family to savour! Full advantage will be taken of the towns idyllic location on the River Barrow.
This year’s programme highlights include:
• A visit by Presidential candidate, Michael D Higgins, author of a new book “New and Selected Poems”. He will do a reading and book signing in the Scout hall and will officially open Silair Wood
• A Booksellers and Book Treasure Trail.
• A talk on his kayaking adventures by journalist and author of The Sea Road kayaking series in the Irish Times Travel magazine, Gary Quinn.
• A cookery demonstration by well known local chef and author of bestselling cook book, “Food To Love”, Edward Hayden – a familiar face on TV3’s Ireland AM programme.
• A talk by Shirley Lanigan, author of ‘100 Best Gardens in Ireland,’ and Mayor of Kilkenny and Tidy Towns expert, David Fitzgerald, followed by a garden visit.
• A secondary schools debate with the theme: “The Paper Book is Dead, Kindle is King”.
• A tweet up for twitter and non-twitter folks
• A local food and craft fair featuring the best of artisan workers from Carlow and Kilkenny, including Helen Finnegan’s award winning Knockadrinna Cheese
• A circus skills workshop for children
On Sunday there will also be rowing races on the river Barrow, and a nature walk along the river and newly opened Silair Woods.
Specialist book dealers visiting the town this year include Maurice Regan of Paulstown Books with lots of volumes on Irish interest and history. One of his most expensive and unusual books is Switzerland and Bavarian Mountains, published in the 19th century and valued at €225.
Wellread Books from Waterford are coming back again this year with antiquarian books of all types. Local ones include Book of the Galtees and the Golden Vale, and a collection of Sinn Fein and war of Independence pamphlets.
Browsers will be able to discover a treasure trove of books in the town covering topics from gardening, to old travel-writing as well as bargain fiction and kid’s volumes.
The Graiguenamanagh Town of Books festival is part of the Kilkenny Community Festivals Network, which comprises six festivals in Co Kilkenny supported by Kilkenny Leader Partnership.
Chairman of the Festival, John O’Shea, said Graiguenamangh will be turned into the Books capital of Ireland over the festival weekend. “There will be a fantastic atmosphere in Graiguenamangagh during the festival when the streets of our town are full with people, young and old, strolling with books in hand nipping in and out of the bookstores. “
He added: “You could not find a more idyllic sight than a book reader sitting by the river Barrow with the autumn sun setting over Brandon Hill as the church bells ring behind from the 13th century Duiske Abbey. Simply Heaven!”
He said the ultimate aim is to make Graiguenamanagh a permanent books town. “There is huge potential to develop Graiguenamangh as a permanent mecca for book lovers everywhere.”
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