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

Exciting Book Nerd News: Book Themed Christmas Decorations are a Thing

News | Book Life

18 December 2020

Exciting Book Nerd News: Book Themed Christmas Decorations are a Thing

    Organising Your Books: How Do You Do It?

    News | Book Life

    6 November 2020

    Organising Your Books: How Do You Do It?

      Great Literary Love Affairs

      News | Book Life

      22 October 2020

      Great Literary Love Affairs

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

        News | Book Life

        21 October 2020

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

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

          News | Book Life

          6 July 2020

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

            Bookstagram is Heaven for Book Lovers

            News | Book Life

            30 June 2020

            Bookstagram is Heaven for Book Lovers

              Wine, Coffee, Tea? What Do You Drink While You’re Reading?

              News | Book Life

              15 June 2020

              Wine, Coffee, Tea? What Do You Drink While You’re Reading?

                The Perfect Social Event For Cold Nights: Join a Book Club and Meet Other Book Lovers This Winter

                News | Book Life

                3 June 2020

                The Perfect Social Event For Cold Nights: Join a Book Club and Meet Other Book Lovers This Winter

                  Bookstores with Catchy, Cool and Quirky Names

                  News | Book Life

                  3 June 2020

                  Bookstores with Catchy, Cool and Quirky Names

                    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

                      COMMENTS

                      Leave a Reply

                      Your email address will not be published.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