I’m not going to draw too many self-serving connections between the announcement that Kobo, fresh from its “finest hour,” is about to enter the Irish market, and the news that the Republic may be about to abolish its Censorship of Publications board. (Less fear of being burned in Eire now, after all.) So anyway, Kobo has announced a partnership with leading Irish bookstore chain Eason & Son Ltd., “largest and oldest standing book retailer in Ireland … with more than 60 outlets through Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

Under the deal, Kobo devices, including the Kobo Aura, Kobo Glo, and Kobo Arc 7 tablet, will be on sale in Eason stores “in time for Christmas.” Conor Whelan, Managing Director at Eason & Son, said in the announcement, “after reviewing a number of different options for the business we are delighted to partner with Kobo in offering our customers the best platform we believe for content and devices. This partnership is a key component of our digital strategy and will ensure that Eason remains a leading retailer of physical and digital books in Ireland.”

As per the company’s official online history,  Eason: “was originally founded in 1819 as Johnston & Co. Since that time it has existed through some of the most exciting events in Irish history and has grown to become the main supplier in Ireland of books, newspapers and magazines. It was in the heady days of Parnell and the Land League that Charles Eason and his son acquired the business from W.H. Smith in 1886.” Founded in 1998, “Easons.com has grown into Ireland’s best online book and eBook shop … In 2012, Easons.com won the Retail Excellence Ireland award for National Website of the Year.” So all in all, Kobo seems to be keeping good company – especially in a country where literature and the written word have been instrumental in the struggle for national independence.

(Now go on, Dan Bloom, pull me up for referencing the Blarney Stone in a TeleRead headline. I dare you …)

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Paul St John Mackintosh is a British poet, writer of dark fiction, and media pro with a love of e-reading. His gadgets range from a $50 Kindle Fire to his trusty Vodafone Smart Grand 6. Paul was educated at public school and Trinity College, Cambridge, but modern technology saved him from the Hugh Grant trap. His acclaimed first poetry collection, The Golden Age, was published in 1997, and reissued on Kindle in 2013, and his second poetry collection, The Musical Box of Wonders, was published in 2011.