An Post has revealed the 12 bookshops across Ireland that have been longlisted for its Bookshop of the Year category for the 2023 An Post Irish Book Awards.

Six of the bookshops will be selected for the shortlist, which will be revealed on October 19. The overall winner will announced at the An Post Irish Book Awards event on November 22 and presented with a trophy and a prize worth €15,000.

The An Post Irish Book Awards is an annual literary event that celebrates and promotes Irish writing and authors to the widest range of readers possible.

Customers were asked to vote for their favorite bookshops and to explain the reason for their choice. The top-voted bookshops were then longlisted and invited to enter a written submission. 

The shortlist of six bookshops will be determined by mystery shoppers who will visit the 12 bookshops as part of the judging process.

The Bookshop of the Year category was established in 2021. Previous winners of the category include Kennys Bookshop and Art Gallery in Galway in 2021, and Bridge Street Books in Wicklow in 2022.

“Bookshops are at the core of communities all throughout Ireland and act as a cultural and social hub for many," said Brendan Corbett, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards.

"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, said: “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.”

Garrett Bridgeman, Managing Director of An Post Mails & Parcels said: “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 12 bookshops longlisted for 'An Post Bookshop of the Year’ 2023 are:

  1. Bridge Books Dromore, Co Down
  2. Bridge Street Books, Wicklow
  3. Castle Book & Card Centre, Castlebar, Co Mayo
  4. The Clifden Bookshop, Connemara, Co Galway
  5. Halfway Up the Stairs, Greystones, Co Wicklow
  6. Kerr’s Bookshop Clonakilty, Co Cork
  7. Liber, Sligo
  8. Little Acorns Bookstore, Derry
  9. Maynooth Bookshop, Kildare
  10. O’Mahony’s Booksellers, Limerick
  11. Tales for Tadpoles, Bray, Co Wicklow
  12. Tertulia, Westport, Co Mayo

The shortlist for all categories in the An Post Irish Book Awards 2023 will be announced on October 19, while the winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 22.

One of this year's winning titles will be announced as the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2023’ during an RTÉ One television broadcast in December.

You can learn more about the An Post Irish Book Awards 2023 here.