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Q&A with Damon Young on the Australian Reading Hour

September 11, 2017

Thursday 14th September 2017: pick up a book and read for an hour.
Find out more about the Australian Reading Hour here.

What is Australian Reading Hour?
On Thursday 14th September, folks all around Australia will read for a least an hour. The idea is simple: to remind us of how awesome reading is.

What are some of the benefits of reading?
Reading introduces kids to a bunch of new words and ideas – far more than conversations alone. It can invite us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Done well, it can enrich our feeling and enhance our thinking. But best of all, reading offers experiences: countless perspectives on what was, what is and what might be. It’s a way of living many lives within the one.

When and where is your favourite place to read?
Anytime. Anywhere. But preferably with a hot drink.

Where will you be reading on Thursday, 14 September?
Hmmm. It’s a Thursday, so I’ll probably be at a Melbourne cafe with a long black: cup in one hand, pen in the other – Ruth, my wife, doing the same beside me.

Why are Australian stories and Australian books important?
There are a heap of good reasons. I’ll nod to one. Democracy asks for some idea of who we are; of the conflicting and colluding stories that make up our community. We need literature for a healthy political life.

What is your favourite Australian book?
OH COME ON. That’s cruel. I’m going to shout out to Julie Koh’s marvellous Portable Curiosities.

What will you be reading on 14 September?
I’ll be reading a book about reading! Michelle Boulous Walker’s Slow Philosophy: Reading Against the Institution. Also Conan comics.

Why are bookshops and shopping centres such important community hubs?
Here’s a little something I prepared earlier: on independent bookshops https://meanjin.com.au/blog/the-independent-bookshop-and-me/

Damon Young’s latest book, My Brother is s Beast, is published by UQP.

 


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