County Tipperary Schools Are Reading As Much As They Can In The MS Readathon

Young readers in County Tipperary are reading as many books as they can in the 28th MS Readathon to help people with Multiple Sclerosis in their community, with the reading month well underway. A fun MS Ireland survey on reading among grown ups has revealed that 98 per cent of us love books and 96 per cent would like to make more time for reading. 4 in 10 read to escape and another 4 in 10 read mainly to relax. 17 per cent read to expand their knowledge. 6 in 10 pick up another book immediately after they finish one. More than half are members of a book club. Recommendations from family or friends are the biggest influence on what we read for one third, the author is a key factor for 30 per cent, while the mood of a book is most influential for 28 per cent.

 County Tipperary Schools Are Reading As Much As They Can In The MS Readathon

Ava Battles, CEO, MS Ireland and 2 FM DJ, Rick O’Shea

Multiple Sclerosis Ireland is encouraging grown ups to swap a book at work and join young MS Readathon’ers in raising funds for people with MS to support vital services. The MS Book Swap is inspired by MS Readathon, Ireland’s biggest schools’ sponsored reading initiative now in its 28th year. MS Book Swap is a fun and easy activity to share with workmates while supporting people with Multiple Sclerosis. MS Ireland and ambassador Rick O’Shea are asking reading enthusiasts to get involved in MS Book Swap until November 9th to coincide with the MS Readathon reading month.


Please visit for more information, and to sign up for the 2015 MS Book Swap. Global IT company Oracle, based in Dublin, is the first company to organise the MS Book Swap.


MS Ireland asked readers what prevents them from reading as much as they would like to. 45 per cent cited too many distractions, 34 per cent cited work; and 21 per cent, other interests. Hard copy wins for 45 per cent but ebooks mixed with hard copy are the choice for 41 per cent.


Ava Battles, Chief Executive, MS Ireland comments: “Over the past 28 years many of us will be familiar with MS Readathon having taken part ourselves or supported young readers we know. Given how many of us love reading, this is a chance to swap the books we have enjoyed in our workplaces in support of people with Multiple Sclerosis.”


Ireland’s favourite place to read is in bed at the end of the day (60 per cent) with the couch in 2nd place (26 per cent) and public transport ranking third (6 per cent). Irish author

Marisa Mackle makes sense of this: “The best thing about reading is that you can travel the world and even go back in time without having to get out of bed!”


More than 8,000 people have MS in Ireland, with thousands more family members affected. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease, the most common disabling neurological condition affecting young adults in Ireland. MS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. There is no known cause or cure for MS.


Irish authors on reading:

“Reading is the perfect way to get lost in your imagination. My favorite books growing up were the famous five series by Enid Blyton, Sweet Valley Twins and the Babysitters Club. Two books that impacted me the most were ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’ by Marita Conlon McKenna and ‘The Best Little Girl in the World’ by Steven Levenkron.”

Cecilia Ahern


“Books are my best friends, my dear companions. ​They let me step outside my own world for a while and see the world though someone else’s eyes… I re-read children’s books all the time. I love ‘The Red Tree’, a picture book for all ages by Shaun Tan as it makes me think about what is important in life. I also love ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’ by Judy Blume as it reminds me what if feels like to be a teenager.”

Irish childrens’ author Sarah Webb


“There’s nothing like taking a quiet hour to dip into a book that’s gripping you and disappearing into a whole new world. It’s my ‘me’ time …books are my bag. I’d never leave the house without a book to hand.”

Claudia Carroll


“If you are reading a book that is boring the freckles off you just close it, put it back where you got it and pick up another one. There are so, so, many books out there – go and talk to your librarians and your booksellers. Trust me; there is a story out there that you will love no matter who you are. I intend to re-read one of my favourite books from childhood called ‘Children on the Oregon Trail’ by A. Rutgers van der Loeff.”

Irish childrens’ author Nicola Pierce


Alan Early’s favourite book is: “Matilda by Roald Dahl. This was the first book I read the whole way through by myself so it’s very important to me. I still identify with Matilda and her love of books. And I still wish I had her magic powers!”


“There’s nothing worse than reading a book you really aren’t enjoying. And it might even put you off reading for life, which would be TERRIBLE! So try reading lots of different types of books. You will find ones you love. Trust me.

A good place to start is by looking at your own interests. If you love playing football, try reading a football book. If you’re addicted to video games like Assassin’s Creed, read sci-fi or adventure books.


In my opinion, reading is the best time travelling teleporter in the world. Open the page of your favourite book and you’re instantly transported to a different place and time, into the mind of a different person.”

Irish children’s author Alan Early


“Reading is meant to be fun, so choose the books you enjoy. However, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself, or to try something unfamiliar – you might get a wonderful surprise.

My re-read book is ‘Heidi’. I’ve always loved it. It has a wonderful sense of place.”

Irish childrens’ author Judi Curtin


“Reading is…a magic key to not just a new dimension, but endless, countless dimensions. It’s a time machine, a magic carpet, a rollercoaster and a super-charged starship all in one.


The book I have read and re-read the most is ‘The Lord of the Rings’. I love it because a great book carries you off with it, and no book sweeps me off to another world as effectively and enjoyably as LOTR.”

Irish childrens’ author Matthew Griffin


“Reading is a way of experiencing life from a different point of view.”

Sheila O’Flanagan


“Reading is…VITAL. It allows the imagination to realise that there are no limits, and storytelling  helps us grow. Reading is something we can do all by ourselves – a brilliant and useful guilty pleasure.”

Pauline McLynn


Five steps to success in the MS Book Swap:

  1. Choose a book to swap that you’ve enjoyed and that you think somebody else will get a lot from too (it can be fiction, non fiction, cook book etc)
  2. Wrap your book in plain paper and write three cryptic clues about it on the front. Add it to the book swap for somebody else to take.
  3. Everyone donates €4 in the donation box provided to help people living with MS (suggested minimum donation).
  4. Pick a book you like the sound of and have some fun unwrapping them together (kinda like Kris Kindle). Then try to guess whose book you have chosen.
  5. Take your new book home and enjoy it!


Each year, Irish authors and illustrators support MS Readathon including Sarah Webb, Cecelia Ahern, Oisin McGann, Claudia Carroll, Marisa Mackle, Nicola Pierce, Judi Curtin, Sheila O’Flanagan and Sarah Bowie, providing inspirational advice and useful tips for young readers and budding writers. They are urging Irish children to ‘open up a world of wonder’ and explore new worlds during the official reading month. MS Book Swap allows grown ups to get involved too.

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