Search

New research on understanding Australian teen readers

What are the reading habits of Australian teens? What influences these behaviours and attitudes? How do teens discover the next read? And what else are they doing with their leisure time?

The new report from the Teen Reading in the Digital Era researchers at Deakin University seeks to unpack these questions, and provide insights into book discovery and reading for pleasure in Australian teens. 

The Discovering a Good Read report is based on a survey of approximately 12,000 Australian teen readers, from across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia between March 2022 and June 2023.

Reading for pleasure, as the report states, “makes us happier, healthier, and more empathetic” and “helps us to make sense of ourselves”. International research has also shown that regular reading in teens has also been seen to lead to greater academic attainment and employment opportunities later in life.

The report shows that 54% of teens read upwards of once a week – with fiction being the most popular genre, and print books being preferenced over other formats.

 

 

The survey data also shows a significant portion of Australian teens are missing out on access to the benefits of reading for pleasure, with 29% of school students not engaging with reading in their free time

The study identifies seven diverse reader types among teens: 12% are Fiction Fanatics’, 10% are ‘Regular Bookworms’, 9% are ‘Rushed Fans’, 16% are ‘Casual Dabblers’, 10% are ‘Holiday Browsers’, 10% are ‘Sparse Readers’ and 33%, are ‘Book Abstainers’.

 

In examining the influencing factors on teen reading, the report reveals the positive impact of parents and caregivers modelling reading behaviours in the home, and the influence of peers in supporting reading engagement in young people.

Australia Reads welcomes the publication of this report from Deakin University, and wants to see more Australian teens access the lifelong benefits of reading for pleasure.

Wondering how to apply these research findings to your teens?

Read our 7 tips for supporting Australian teen readers, and read the full Discovering a Good Read report from Deakin University.

Further resources for teen readers

  • Your Kids Next Read – Community group and podcast for parents and educators
  • Shelftalkers – SLAV’s online platform for young readers
  • #LoveOzYa – Australia-wide group championing books by and for young people
  • Reading Australia – resources for teachers to support the teaching of Australian books