Action Lesotho Shop Moves But Its Book Lovers Go With Them

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Fergus Dennehy talks to Paul Hanrahan of the Action Lesotho about the book shop, people’s reading habits and the work the charity does…

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Paul Hanrahan, Manager of the Action Lesotho Book Shop says that the shop is continuing the draw in the crowds.

THE big move is over and the books have settled back into the heaving shelves at the ‘Action Lesotho Book Shop’ at Tralee Shopping Centre.

The NGO and charity organisation has just finished moving from their old premises to their new one and while the ‘move’ has only seen them head across the hall, it’s a small symbol of the positive work that the team behind the scenes are bringing to not just Tralee, but to people abroad as well.

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“We’ve moved within the same centre because we’re very happy here, but what we got was a more open and brighter space for us and we have more space now to put more books out. We moved as well so that the public could see us more easily because what we make here goes to support quite a few projects,” said Manager Paul Hanrahan when talking to on Friday.

The shop has been in the town for a few years now with both young and old finding their very own hidden gem within the perfectly dusted shelves of the store.

But what does Paul think is the reason behind the continued draw of the shop?

“The draw of the shop? I think there’s a couple of things really. We have a very wide range of books. We sell a lot of the usual types which would be the crime thriller and popular fiction, but we also cater for other people as well,” he said.

“Older people in particular love cowboy books, then we’d get people who would look for really interesting books such as George Orwell and other classics, that type of thing you know.”

“You’d be surprised at the number of younger people who would be reading the classics. They’d hear about them and maybe wouldn’t be able to afford them in other shops. From us, they’d pick them up for €2 and because of this, a lot of teenagers would be reading a lot of the classics,” he continued.

“The one thing that we can’t keep on the shelf though is anything in Irish. As soon as it comes in, it’s gone. We’d constantly be asking people if they have anything as Gaeilge and to drop them into us. I don’t know if we have any books in Irish left in the shop at the moment,” he said.

While the book shop itself is a great asset to the town and its people, the work being done has far more reaching benefits than just locally. The shop is run 100% by volunteers with all proceeds from book sales going straight into helping the people of Lesotho, many of whom suffer and live in extreme poverty.

“Children in Lesotho get a meal at school but then when a lot of them go home, they don’t have any parents. It would be a child-led family,” said Paul.

“You might have a 13 year old child raising another two or three kids, they might have no food in the house – as in no food whatsoever. We provide them with a meal at the weekends and we’ve introduced a breakfast programme as well. The €2 that we make from a book might feed a child for a week,” he continued.

“To be honest, people come in to buy books but there’s a feel good factor involved for them to realise that the profits are actually going to help someone somewhere,” he said.

To check out the book shop’s Facebook page, click HERE or you can check out the work being doing by the Action Lesotho NGO group itself over on its page HERE.

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