Cork City

Services and Programmes

Below you can see where some of our readers read. 
If you would like to have your favourite reading place included, let us know at

Anne Kennedy – Fionnbarra Pub, Douglas Street
I would like to share with you the place where I love to read:
Hidden behind the houses of Douglas Street is the beer garden of the Fionnbarra public house.  Most lunchtimes I can be found there, sandwich in one hand and book in the other. I appreciate the suntrap, the variety of customers: students from St John's College on their laptops, men supping their pints, and the crack with the owner and staff. The garden changes with the seasons — covered in winter, and brightened by flowers and a grapevine in summer.  
With busy days at Oak Tree Press, around the corner in Rutland Street, I value this little place where I can relax with my latest find from Douglas Library. During these lunchtimes I have discovered many new authors and revisited what now seem like old friends. If you find yourself in this old part of the city, drop in with your book — they've just got a new coffee machine!
 Fionbarra Pub, Douglas Street

Paul O’Mahony – Farmgate Café, English Market
My favourite reading place is at the big table in the Farmgate Cafe, upstairs in the English Market.  I love to pick up newspapers from the pile on the table.  I love to take a book from my bag and read it amid the gentle bustle of commerce and food. You never know who'll come sit next to you . . ..  I've developed the habit of using books to help me think.  Reading promotes thought. Thought promotes intentions.  So you could say I plan my life on that table.  If I own the book, I write in the margins, highlight passages, even copy sentences into my notebook.  Some books completely distract me from the excitement of the Market.  Others seem to stop me in my tracks and invite me to rethink.  The great thing about that table is that I can read and write at it.  Incidentally, my current interests include Alain de Botton, Walt Whitman, AA Milne, Marcel Proust, and Joseph O'Neill.farmgate 
Farmgate Café, English Market

Anonymous – porch of reader’s house
My favourite place to read is in the porch of our house.  While quite bright, it is so very peaceful and quiet, surrounded by lawn, shrubs, and hedging.  I make regular appointments with myself there, sometimes to revisit a modern translation of the Mahabharata, the Sanskrit epic exploring many rich literary, spiritual, philosophical, and historical themes.  This book highlights truths that are unassailable in a very friendly way.  Even though it's a very ancient epic, it’s extraordinarily relevant to our age.  I read a portion every day to uplift myself — in this Kali Yuga (Era of Darkness).  I have great pleasure in saying that it is one of my greatest friends. 

Porch of reader’s house

Phil O'Driscoll — Gentleman's Gossip Chair
I love to read in my comfortable airy sitting room, next to natural light by the front window.  I am very fond of my gentleman’s and lady’s gossip chairs.  My favourite reading chair is the gentleman’s gossip chair which, unlike the lady’s version, has armrests.  Also known as caquetoires or caquteuses, gossip chairs, with their distinctive seats broader at the front, were originally designed to accommodate ladies’ wide-hooped skirts.  From the comfort of that chair I browse my current favourite as well as some old familiar works that I dip into from time to time.  I love losing myself to whatever I am reading.woodlands
Gentleman's gossip chair