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How kids' books took over bestsellers list

THEY might have tablets and game consoles – but Irish children know you can't beat a good book.

Children's titles now account for the majority of bestsellers in Ireland.

An amazing nine out of the country's top 10 most popular paperbacks are children's books, according to figures released by Nielsen BookScan.

While the most popular book is chick-lit author Patricia Scanlan's With All My love, the rest are aimed at children.

With All My Love had sold 4,313 copies in Ireland by March 9, the latest date for which data is available.


Next on the list is Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry's Guide to Perfect Parents (4,293) followed by Alfie's Shop (3,452), by Shirley Hughes.

Among the others on the list are Irish author Judi Curtin's Ask Eva (3,291), Cathy Cassidy's Bittersweet: Chocolate Box Girls (3,000) and Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders: Inventions (1,927)

Ivan O'Brien, managing director of O'Brien Press, said the number of children's books in the top 10 was a result of a World Book Day promotion.

Schoolchildren received a voucher worth €1.50 and publishers arranged for a range of kids' titles to retail at that price.

"The idea is children go into their local bookshop ... and they have a voucher which will buy them a book. The books are produced at a loss by the publishers and sold at a loss by the shops," Mr O'Brien said.

World Book Day, which has been running for 10 years, is aimed at encouraging children to read. "It's a marketing, awareness and education promotion," Mr O'Brien said.