Australian Reading Hour 2021

The Australian Reading Hour logo, above a landscape atop an open book.  Below this, text reads 'Stories that Matter' and the date of the event.

We are inviting you all to join in the conversation celebrating Stories That Matter for Australian Reading Hour today, on Tuesday 14 September.

Jump online and get involved in discussing the books and stories that matter to you – the books that have brought comfort, laughter, inspiration, and respite.

With the continuing lockdowns our events have gone virtual, making them accessible wherever you are. Spread the word about the event for kids or the event for teens that are available for schools or individuals to view online this week via the Sydney Opera House - teasers below.



Graham Perrett MP, co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers, recently spoke in parliament of the importance of books and reading, and highlighted this year’s Australian Reading Hour theme by sharing his own Stories That Matter, saying:

'Australian Reading Hour is in its 10th year and this year, more than ever, we've needed our books to transport us from the daily reality of viruses, vaccines, homeschooling, travel restrictions and lockdowns.

The magic of books has kept us sane and transported us to places we can't physically travel to. Books are an escape from the worries of everyday life and reduce stress by 68 per cent. Reading makes your world bigger, even if you're confined to a hotel room in quarantine, because books can make the impossible possible. This year especially, when we're more disconnected from each other than we've ever been, reading other people's stories allows you to walk in their shoes for a mile. Books build empathy and connection and help you feel less lonely.

On Tuesday 14 September we celebrate the joy of reading with Australian Reading Hour, where we ask everyone to read for one hour. You can read anything you like, but the theme for this year is 'stories that matter', which has made me think about Australian stories that matter most to me.

My top 10 in order are: Cloudstreet, by Tim Winton; My Brilliant Career, by Miles Franklin; A Kindness Cup, by Thea Astley; Boy Swallows Universe, by Trent Dalton; Such is Life, by Joseph Furphy; Charades, by Janette Turner Hospital; Bring Larks and Heroes, by Thomas Keneally; Praise, by Andrew McGahan; The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan; and My Brother Jack, by George Johnston.

Happy reading, everybody.'

The APA team also shared their Stories That Matter, with selections including Adam Thompson’s Born Into This (UQP), Stan Grant’s Talking To My Country (HarperCollins), Inga Clendinnen’s Dancing With Strangers (Text), Tara June Winch’s The Yield (PRH), Kathryn Heyman’s Fury (A&U) and Rawah Arja’s The F Team (Giramondo).

We’d love to hear or see what your #StoriesThatMatter are, so share on social media and tag us @AustraliaReads!

Choose an Australian book that means a lot to you. It could be a book you read growing up, a book that got you hooked on reading or one you re-read often. Maybe it is the one story that has stayed with you – that you think about often.

A screenshot of an APA office zoom call. The APA team members each hold up copies of their picks for 'Stories that Matter'.

For those able to get out and about in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney, look out for the eye-catching Australia Reads posters on your travels and share any sightings on social media by tagging us @AustraliaReads.

Spread the word about the benefits of reading, and If you need any book suggestions, we've got you covered with recommendations for all ages on the Australia Reads website.

A series of photographs, showing posters for Australia Reads! in city locations.

Future RISE Funding

In good news to coincide with Australia Reading Hour, we’ve received $300,000 funding from the Government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund. This will support future Australia Reads initiatives to get more people reading more books, more often.