How Australians Used Books to Escape Lockdown Blues

How Australians Used Books to Escape Lockdown Blues

While the challenges brought about by the pandemic are ongoing, if there’s one thing we have learnt, it’s that Australians have really turned to their love of reading. Libraries play a big role in this, and they did an amazing job at pivoting to suit the needs of readers stuck in lockdown.

Civica, in partnership with the Australian Libraries Information Association (ALIA), just released its 2021 Libraries Index, and the results are fascinating. They analysed data on more than 34 million books borrowed from libraries across regional and metropolitan Australia and New Zealand. That’s a HUGE number of books borrowed – something we love to see.

While 2020 brought plenty of twists and turns, Australians turned to reading mysteries and thrillers more than ever before. More than half of the top 20 books borrowed were thrillers, which are hugely popular amongst the Better Reading community, as seen in our 2021 Top 100. Jane Harper’s The Survivors and The Lost Man and Michael Robotham’s When She Was Good and Good Girl, Bad Girl were amongst the most borrowed books from libraries.

Another statistic we’re thrilled to see is that Australian authors comprise almost two-thirds of the most borrowed books. But we already knew that readers can’t get enough of incredible home-grown fiction!

The Libraries Index also notes the huge uptake in readers borrowing e-books, showing how we have changed with the times. While we still love a good old paperback, it’s great to see increased options for those who prefer e-books or audiobooks, all without having to leave their homes.

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