Meet the Reader- Alan

Alan Hartnett

Your first Library and what do you remember about it? My first library was Portlaoise Library. I remember the excitement of getting my first library card and how that meant I could borrow any book that I wanted.

Name one of your favourite authors – I read murder-mystery and books that make me laugh. So, anything by Linwood Barclay and Ross O’Carroll-Kelly (Paul Howard) will keep me entertained.

Your favourite thing about them – Linwood Barclay’s books keep me gripped right to the very end – and there is almost always a twist that you never saw coming.
While Ross O’Carroll-Kelly’s books just make me laugh. For anyone who hasn’t read anything from either of these – I couldn’t recommend them enough.

Fiction / Non Fiction – Fiction. I deal with the real world all the time through work so I enjoy not having to think about that for a while.
Your favourite time to read – On holidays. I generally don’t read as much outside of my two weeks in Spain each year. But with Covid I had no holiday in 2020 and it looks unlikely I’ll have one in 2021 either so I may have to make a change!

Your favourite place to read – The beach! I’m not really one for lying in the sun but I love to lounge in the shade and plough through one of my books – it is when I am at my happiest.

Who was the person who most encouraged your reading? I actually fell out of reading as I transitioned from a child to a teenager and it was my English teacher, Johnny Behan in Knockbeg College, who encouraged me to start reading again in order to improve my vocabulary. He is a great man and he certainly played a massive role in the career I have ended up in today.

Best Autobiography / Biography – As I said, I’m not really into non-fiction. The only two autobiographies that I have read in my life were Roy Keane and Sir Alex Fergusson’s. I think Roy’s book would shade it.

Liverpool / Man U – Man United. No question.

Wenger / Mourinho- Jose.

Coldplay / Red Hot Chilli Peppers Coldplay. I went to see them in Cardiff a few years ago and it was the best gig I was ever at.

Best meal you ever had – There is a restaurant in the marina in Vilamoura in Portugal called NEWS. And whenever Covid is over, it is the first place I am going to go!

Favourite drink – Red wine. Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon preferably!

Aeroplane / Boat – A plane because I get sea sick!

Dog / Cat – Dogs.

Favourite Childhood Story / Book – The Harry Potter books. I remember queuing at midnight with my cousin to get one of them the moment they were released.

Your hero / heroine from history – Michael Collins.

Three people past or present you would like to have a cup of coffee with (cannot be family) – I don’t drink coffee so it would have to be tea! Bruno Fernandes, Jack Whitehall and Serena Williams.

Hard copy / ebook – Hard copy – I spend too much of the day staring at screens as it is.

Sun / Snow – Sun

Best investment – I bought a pair of sliders about 15 years ago and wore them on holidays every year while they weren’t in fashion. And I still have them now that they are in fashion again!

What the world needs now – The world needs social media companies to step up and help to eradicate hate and abuse online. Working in an industry that heavily uses social media, I see first hand how people can set up anonymous accounts and then use them to write the most hateful and disgusting things about people – knowing that the likelihood of repercussions are very low.
So, I would like to see Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc introduce a system, the same way as if you sign up to join a bank or a sports club, where you must prove your ID. Therefore, any hateful or false content that you post can be brought straight back to you and can be dealt with appropriately.

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