While recognising the fact that historically teacher education and adolescent literacy are two fields that have had limited intellectual contact, the development of reading literacy is increasingly now accepted internationally as a core responsibility of all teachers and teacher educators. Adopting a socio-cultural perspective, this paper, drawn from the Learning to Teach Study, focused on the beliefs, knowledge and experiences regarding reading literacy of Irish post-primary student teachers on one initial teacher education (ITE) programme. The data were collected through three interviews with each of 17 student teachers. Results suggest that the surveyed student teachers had some concerns about their own literacy, had narrow conceptions of literacy, tended not to see it as their responsibility, held a minimal threshold view of literacy and viewed new digital technologies as a resource and motivator for their students' literacy learning. Results are discussed in terms of how student teachers' knowledge of literacy in ITE programmes could be reframed, extended and deepened.