PA Images/Kenji Shimizu

Attention bookworms: fancy a million free books?

Free tomes are being handed out across Ireland on Friday to celebrate World Book Night.

DON’T BE TOO alarmed if a stranger walks up and randomly hands you a book on Saturday night. A million books are being given away across the UK and Ireland for World Book Night. Thousands have signed up to be a World Book Night ‘giver’, passing on copies of the book that they most want others to read.

The book giving is taking place at various locations around Ireland – have a look at the list on to find a spot near you where the free tomes will be distributed.

It’s a real page-turner for bookworms this week (er, sorry). The Dublin Book Festival kicks off today with a long list of events running right up to Sunday.

For our money, you can’t beat the discussions each night, some of which have a €5 cover charge, but that is then redeemable against a voucher for the Dublin Book Festival Bookshop:

  • Tonight: Dublin, its place in literature – 6.30pm in the National Library, Eileen Battersby in conversation with Anthony Cronin and Dermot Bolger. (€5)
  • Tomorrow: Current affairs, stepping into a brighter future – 6.30pm, The Cube, Project Arts Centre, Vincent Browne, Shane Coleman, Justine McCarthy, Stephen Kinsella, Ken Foxe. (€5)
  • Tomorrow: True crime, criminal minds – 6.30pm, The Gutter bookshop, Abigail Rieley, Emer Connolly, Barry Cummins, John Mooney. (free)
  • Friday: Your career and personal finances, getting back on track – 11.15am, Main stage, City Hall, Colm Rapple, Brendan Foley, Jane Downes. (free)
  • Saturday: Irish crime writing in the 21st century – 2pm, Main stage, City Hall, Gene Kerrigan, Niamh O’Connor, Paul Charles chaired by Declan Burke. (free)
  • Saturday: The past is now, lessons for today from Ireland’s past – 4pm, The Cube, Ryan Tubridy, Diarmaid Ferriter, chaired by Susan Cahill. (€5)
  • Sunday: Political reform in Ireland, a new republic – 2pm, Council chamber, City Hall, Fintan O’Toole, Naoise Nunn, Kevin Rafter, Susan McKay. (free)
  • Sunday: Tomorrow’s women, what’s next for Mna na hEireann – 3pm, Council chamber, City Hall, Victoria White, Dr Ann Matthews, chaired by Susan McKay.

There are also writer workshops and speaking events, a children’s programme and other interesting tidbits listed on

The rest of the book-loving country shouldn’t feel too left out – tomorrow is World Book Day and local events are published on