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12th Dec 2023

Research shows that just under half of children in Ireland will ask for a book this Christmas

Jody Coffey

Books book

Reading is one of the best pastimes for children!

This Christmas, almost half of children in Ireland will ask for a book, with two-thirds receiving one from a loved one.

If you are the proud parent of a bookworm, they’ll likely fall under both of these categories.

These findings are part of research published by national charity Children’s Books Ireland, which recently launched its ‘Gift A Book’ Christmas appeal.

Credit: Getty

The findings

This research, which was conducted by B&A Insights earlier this year, examined book gifting at Christmas 2022 and it determined some pretty interesting results.

It found that 42 per cent of children in Ireland asked their parents or guardians for a book as a Christmas present in 2022, with the data peaking at 56 per cent in children aged between 5 and 12 years.

It also states that 66 per cent of kids received a book as a Christmas present from their parents, with peak findings showing 77 per cent were aged between 5 and 12 years.

Meanwhile, 70 per cent of children aged up to 12 years old received a book as a gift from their parents last Christmas.

However, this dropped to under 50 per cent for children aged 13 years and over.

Just 35 per cent of children aged 13 years and older asked their parents for a book as a present for Christmas.

Credit: Getty

Speaking on the research, Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, shared her delight towards to ‘huge appetite for reading among the younger generations, particularly teenagers.

“Ireland’s teenagers are among the best in the world when it comes to reading literacy, but if we want our young people to be lifelong readers we have to nurture a love of reading – not just for learning, but for joy, for escapism, for entertainment.

“Teenagers in Ireland are busier than ever, with friends, hobbies and academic pressures all competing for their time and attention. But there are a wealth of fantastic reads out there for teenagers, from graphic novels to verse novels and non-fiction, that we hope they will get to discover this Christmas.”

Elaina adds that the charities ‘Gift A Book’ appeal will mean even more youngsters will get to share in the joy of reading.

“For every child and teenager that has a new book waiting for them under the tree, there are many more who have never unwrapped a book that is theirs to own and keep.

“This year, through our Gift A Book appeal, we are sharing that joy with children across Ireland, and hope to reach even more next year with the life-long gift of reading.”

Credit: Getty

‘Gift A Book’ fundraising appeal

The ‘Gift Appeal’ launched on Giving Tuesday (November 28th).

In this short space of time, it raised over €10,000 in book donations for children and young people across Ireland who are experiencing homelessness and living in Direct Provision.

This will mean Children’s Books Ireland will be able to put books into the hands of even more children in 2024.

“We want to give every child the chance to discover a lifelong love of books, and we need your help.We’re calling on everyone to gift a book this Christmas,” Elaina urges.

You can donate by visiting