Australia Reads champions the joys and benefits of books and reading, and is on a mission to build a stronger reading culture in Australia.
Since 2012, we’ve held the annual Australian Reading Hour – a national day to celebrate reading.
Between 2012-2023, Australian Reading Hour has engaged over a million Australians in reading, featured over 300 annual events, attracted mainstream media coverage around reading, and made tens of thousands of books available to young people at affordable prices.
After more than a decade of celebrating Australian Reading Hour, Australia Reads decided it was time to take stock and evaluate the program’s effectiveness in growing reading engagement in Australia.
Through discussions with authors, librarians, booksellers, literary programmers, publishers, and partners, a series of common feedback themes emerged:
- People are passionate about promoting reading, and want to see a sustained, coordinated approach to advocating for its place in our national culture – they want to celebrate reading every day, not just one day a year.
- Australia has a vibrant and robust live literature and literary festival calendar, with many new events emerging since Australian Reading Hour began.
- Those working in our industry are hungry for resources, research, and tools to effectively promote reading to their audiences and communities.
The overall message we’ve heard from you, is that the mission to build a reading nation would benefit from a practical, unified, and year-round approach to advocating for reading in Australia.
To help us achieve this, we are retiring Australian Reading Hour. Doing so will allow us to focus more time and resources on:
- Advocating for investment in reading at a national level.
Devising effective messages and campaigns to drive increased participation with reading in Australia.
- Providing research, resources, and tools for the industry to actively promote reading to their audiences and communities.
We are immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together with Australian Reading Hour, and grateful for the range of partners, sponsors, authors, and readers who have so enthusiastically taken part.
As we look ahead to the future, we invite you to join us in our work. Last month, we held VOLUME, a free, online national reading symposium to explore practical and collective solutions to building a stronger reading culture in Australia, and have shared key takeaways from the event.
You can stay up to date with our work by signing up to our e-newsletter, or following us on social media @AustraliaReads.
We hope you’ll join us in our ongoing mission to build Australia as a reading nation.