Australians Love Reading: Reflecting on our Reading Habits

Australians Love Reading: Reflecting on our Reading Habits

We’re halfway through the year and it’s time to reflect on our reading habits. If there’s one thing we know for sure – Australians love reading. All those dire predictions about the book industry fell on deaf ears. We were all way too busy reading to listen. Not only do we love reading, but we also love talking about books. Engagement within the Better Reading community is higher than ever. We watch as you comment, make suggestions, critique, give feedback and invite your friends to join in conversations.

In 2018, book sales worldwide increased. In Australia, Nielsen BookScan has seen a 30 percent jump in local authors featured in the top 25 fiction titles in the past two years.

We’ve seen the love our BR community has shown local authors such as Trent Dalton, Holly Ringland, Christian White and Dervla McTiernan. Not only are these authors all local, but they all experienced phenomenal success with their debut novels.

Once upon a time in Australian publishing, to make it as a writer you had to already have a profile. Writers had to work hard to establish a following, often having to publish five or more novels before reaping any rewards or gaining any acknowledgment. Books were very much judged by the name of the person behind the pen, but this isn’t so much the case today.

The Australian literary scene has changed a great deal in the past few years, with new (and welcome) trends emerging. We’ve seen female authors and characters thrive, fewer male gatekeepers in the industry, and novels that are much more diverse and experimental. And of course, there’s the success of the debut.

This has never been more evident than on the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards shortlist. All five titles shortlisted for the General Fiction Book of the Year category were also on the Better Reading Top 100, and written by first-time authors.

So what else are you reading?

The 2016 Australia Council’s report, Reading the Reader: A Survey of Australian Reading Habits found that ‘nine in ten Australians enjoy reading for interest or pleasure and seven in ten would like to spend more time reading books’. It also found that readers are embracing crime and mystery genres.

We’ve certainly found that to be true. The engagement with our crime and thriller authors is high. Other definite trends are that readers are embracing women writers more, and that books that are suitable for book clubs are big sellers. Give a reader a twist or a topic to discuss and they’ll add wine and friends with that.

Earlier this year ArtsHub reported that 2018 was the year Aussies embraced non-fiction, with personal development the largest genre, overtaking both food and drink and biographies and autobiographies. Readers also loved homegrown fiction. In fact, by early this year a number of Australian authors were selling as well as or better than their overseas counterparts.

We’re halfway through the year, and you really do help shape the trends, the bestsellers and the books that will be published in the future. What are you reading now?

 

 

 

Related Articles

Bohemian Bondi: A Beachside Bookstore Inspired by a Famous Parisian Salon

News | Book Life

18 May 2020

Bohemian Bondi: A Beachside Bookstore Inspired by a Famous Parisian Salon

    Is Reading The Best Medicine? Why books are good for us

    News | Book Life

    14 May 2020

    Is Reading The Best Medicine? Why books are good for us

      This is Our 5th Top 100... Here are all Five Lists

      News | Awards | Book Life

      12 May 2020

      This is Our 5th Top 100... Here are all Five Lists

        Beautiful Gifts for Certified Booklovers

        News | Book Life

        29 April 2020

        Beautiful Gifts for Certified Booklovers

          It's About the Brain: Why Do We Still Bother With Books… When There’s So Much Online?

          News | Book Life

          7 April 2020

          It's About the Brain: Why Do We Still Bother With Books… When There’s So Much Online?

            Guilty Secrets: What I Found On my Friend's Bedside Table

            News | Book Life

            31 March 2020

            Guilty Secrets: What I Found On my Friend's Bedside Table

              Books That Were Banned, Burned & Challenged: Some Will Surprise You!

              News | Book Life

              23 March 2020

              Books That Were Banned, Burned & Challenged: Some Will Surprise You!

                Five Fall Titles: Books We're Excited About this Autumn

                News | Book Life

                11 March 2020

                Five Fall Titles: Books We're Excited About this Autumn

                  I’m Embarrassed to Admit: The Books You Start, a Few Times, but Never Finish

                  News | Book Life

                  10 March 2020

                  I’m Embarrassed to Admit: The Books You Start, a Few Times, but Never Finish

                    Reading: the secret to living a longer life

                    News | Book Life

                    4 March 2020

                    Reading: the secret to living a longer life

                      COMMENTS

                      Leave a Reply

                      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *