Eight Seven Six Zero To Us!


Weird birthday traditions of the world include covering the birthday person in flour (Caribbean), pulling on earlobes (Hungary), smearing noses with butter (Canada), assembling fairy bread (Australia) or shaving heads and holding over a fire pit (India).


Here at Books@One, Louisburgh, County Mayo, we want to blaze the trail for our own fabulous birthday traditions and celebrations.


As previously highlighted, at the height of madness, in the depths of a downturn, the idea for Books@One was hatched. Against all odds the dark horse of all community and social enterprise projects was born.

And we have managed to survived eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty hours to date…in other words, we are about to celebrate our one year anniversary, our very first, first birthday.

Have there been tears? A few. Moments of high and low? Of course. Amazing partnerships, friendships and projects formed? Definitely. Butter smearing, earlobe pulling, fairy bread eating? Not so much.

So to right that balance, we need to come up with our own Bookish Birthday Tradition.

To mark the Books@One birthday milestone, we have decided what better way to do that than with a Festival of books, reading, writing and literature.


Introducing Books@One Festival.

The festival runs over four days, August 17th to 20th at various locations across the town of Louisburgh in county Mayo.

International award winning writers, poets and artists will be meeting at this festival to talk about their work, to read from their collections, to showcase their art and to chat about the trials and tribulations of being a creative. Mike McCormick and Elizabeth Reapy will be discussing their very own first birthdays, where they explore the life of their novels Solar Bones and Red Dirt. Both of these books have won awards at home and abroad; the authors will reflect one year on, on the journey of their creative projects.

Geraldine Mitchell will read from her poetry collection Mountains for Breakfast, Caroline Preston from her recent novel This Tumult, as well as workshops with Anne Chambers, Amanda Bell and Caroline Healy.

The festival programme is packed with amazing readings, workshops, panel discussions and open mic sessions. There will be story time with resident Story Telling expert Shelley Upchurch, as well as a number of children-focused activities.

‘To celebrate an amazing year, Books@One wanted to do something memorable, so we decided that a Festival is the way to go. We are so excited to showcase the talent, locally and nationally.’  Books@One Manager, Neil Paul.

The challenge now is to spread the word and encourage participation. Perhaps we should start our own Books@One unique birthday tradition. What could that be?  Bop in the head with a book? Reading aloud several verses of Beowulf? Attempting all of David Walliams' Granny books in one sitting?


What, apart from our Book Festival, shall be our special birthday marker? Have you any ideas?

Help us celebrate Books@One Festival with bookish ideas on marking this special occasion. #booksatonebirthday or post on Facebook your ideas.

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+353 (0)98 66885


Bridge Street, Louisburgh,

Co. Mayo, Ireland