Today’s title is not a description of the unexpected (Australians are literate!) but of an annual event. We’ve been heading towards it for weeks. it’s this week, on 9 March. Schools and libraries specially have whole programs, and Young Adult writers are in particular demand. My big Australia reads function this year was talking about fantasy novels with Wendy Orr and Rik Lagarto for Libraries ACT. It will be put up the Libraries’ Facebook page on the day, and then readers in Canberra will be able to compare note and argue and chat about the books we talk about. We will probably join in the discussion. Of course we will. That’s what book discussions are for.
Australia Reads/Australian Reading Hour is an annual event where a lot of Australians read for a single hour on the same day. We’re not told what to read. We do, however, talk about books a lot in the lead-up. Some people buy a book they’ve been dreaming of, specially to read that day. I’ve done that, this year. A lot of the fun is in comparing notes and suggesting titles and worrying if we will get hold of our dream book in time or if we should find an alternate book, just in case. I always emerge from This lead-up period and from the day itself with a long list of books I need to take a look at. This is such a good feeling.
There are Ambassadors for Reading to encourage Australians to read something that day. I am one. Let me show you. https://australiareads.org.au/authors/gillian-polack/ It’s not my best quote ever. Every year I want to improve it and change it and every year I say to myself, “It’s probably better to spend the time reading.” And so I do. I’m very proud to be an Ambassador.
I don’t know if there are Reading Hours in other countries, but if you don’t have one and would like to join us, please do! Any book, the hour of your choice (or 4 lots of 15 minutes if life is simply impossible, though an hour is best, it gives time away from a fractious everyday). People often ask me if there’s a book of mine I suggest for Australia Reads. This year it’s The Green Children Help Out, because we really need a bunch of cheerfully quirky superheroes to help us deal with destructive fools. Me, I’m reading The Tangled Lands, a new novel by Glenda Larke.
What book will you choose?
One thought on “Australia Reads”
Thank you, Gillian. For all that you do — and I hope you enjoy the read, especially since you gave me some excellent advice about that structural problem!