“Stories might be our first experience of magic – we witness transformation and we experience it. And in this present and future world of ours, imagination, creativity and empathy are qualities that we humans will be calling upon more than ever. Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, recently prescribed the value of rehearsing changes that life may throw at us through the reading of science fiction. Perhaps such scenarios are like handrails for the steep inclines ahead. And why not? Science, invention and literature are not so far apart. They rely on imagining what is not. A boy at Summer Hill Public School once told me, “When I read, I go far away and when I come back, I feel bigger than I really am.” And that’s why I’m so delighted to be a part of the 2020 Australian Reads program because it’s through reading books that we give us humans, children especially, the power to understand, to grow and to imagine what is not.” Anna Fienberg, author of the best selling Tashi books and ambassador for Australia Reads 2020
In November 2020, all Australians of all ages and from all walks of life are invited to share and celebrate the joys of reading by participating in Australia Reads. Whether you’re picking up a book for the first time or your head is already stuck in one, there’s plenty of books, activities and events as part of the festivities.
Thursday 12 November is the main event – Australian Reading Hour. You’re invited to stop what you’re doing for an hour, pick up a book and read to yourself or the children in your life.
Join us and unwind, get inspired and find joy in books! From islands, blue shores, bushland to red heart – Australia Reads. And now that we’re staying in, it’s a good time to get reading. Books – in whatever shape, size, or form – are a great way to unwind, to learn new things, discover new stories, and feel all kinds of emotions.
Just in case you need to convince anyone, here’s four fabulous reasons to read:
Reading is enjoyable and relaxing.
Books can be an escape from the worries of everyday life. Reading also reduces stress by 68% – it works quicker than listening to music, playing a videogame or a walk.
Books help you learn and explore.
Reading makes your world bigger and makes more things possible. Literacy and reading are tools that can help you achieve your goals and help others. So, being able to read can improve your life and the lives of the people around you.
Reading helps your mind grow. It helps connect different parts of your brain. After reading a book, your brain activity is boosted for days. It’s exercise and nourishment for your mind – good for your health now and down the track!
Books create meaning and connect us to others. By reading other people’s stories you can walk in their shoes. And in doing so, learn more about yourself, too. Books build empathy, connection and help you feel less lonely. Plus, sharing books, doing bookish activities, and reading together is a great way to stay connected to the people in your life – and meet new people too!
So join the fun when Australia Reads, November 1 – 12. But seriously, with all those benefits….why wait!