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'Competing' Galway bookshops join forces to encourage shoppers to buy local...

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Are Kennys and Charlie Byrne’s the world’s friendliest competitors?!

Books make truly magical gifts and this year, Charlie Byrne’s and Kennys Bookshops have joined forces to promote Galway’s independent bookshops.

It is estimated that between 2010 and 2015, some 50% of Ireland’s independent bookshops closed down and there are now only about 30 independent bookshops left in the country.

Kennys and Charlie Byrne’s host regular signings, book launches, book clubs, book readings, radio programs and other popular events such as Over the Edge Poetry Readings, Children’s Storytime and Children’s Book Events. They also support local Charities and Festivals such as Galway Hospice, Cúirt, Baboró and Macnas. Their sense of excitement around books and reading is infectious.

The quality of Galway’s long established and much loved independent bookshops is widely acknowledged, with both shops having won multiple awards.

On a recent visit during which he did a live Facebook stream from Charlie Byrne’s, Ryan Tubridy highlighted the pleasures of visiting your local bookshop, the feel of the books, the ambience of the packed shelves with their spines all vying for your attention and declared Charlie’s “a place to get lost in all the right ways”. He has said of Kennys ‘The place is lined with endless shelves stocked with well read books, some secondhand, others first editions….. and there are two magnificent couches…. Not only that, it is also staffed by people who clearly love books’. “ is a wonderful website and pleasingly far from all the maddening, garishly designed tech- obsessed websites in the world. The collection is immense and they deliver for free” says Conor Pope.

Since Charlie Byrne’s opened in Galway in 1989, the staff in Kennys and in Charlie’s have been good friends! It’s certainly not your typical “competitor” relationship – the two Bookshops complement each other, sharing a love of books, a passion for reading, a deep interest in promoting Irish and International writers at home and abroad…. And a great sense of humour!

#ShopLocal #IndieBookshops #keepthestorygoing #friendlycompetition