Showing all posts tagged: reading

Online symposium VOLUME seeks to encourage Australians to read more

10 August 2023

VOLUME online reading symposium banner image

Australian authors Jess Scully, Kate Larsen, and Nardi Simpson, are among speakers at VOLUME, a one day symposium, taking place online, on Thursday 21 September 2023. Amidst concerns Australians do not read enough, VOLUME will explore strategies to encourage more people to read.

Despite its ability to enhance health, knowledge, and wellbeing, support for embedding reading in our daily lives is often overlooked. With national literacy and reading rates declining for children and adults alike, it’s time for urgent action. By exploring effective approaches to encouraging reading alongside insights into advocacy from other industries, VOLUME will provide a platform to untangle the issues affecting reading engagement.

Turn off the TV an hour earlier, put down the games console, and leave your phone in the other room (unless you use it to read e-books), a few of my suggestions to make for more reading time.


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Paper books give Gen Z much needed screen free time

19 March 2023

Generation Z, being people born between 1997 and 2015, prefer to read paper books rather than electronic ones, according to World Economic Forum data. A break from eye-straining smartphone screens, a desire to support local bricks and mortar book stores, and the smell of newly published paper books, are among reasons they cite for the preference.

Book sales in the US and the UK have boomed in the past two years, the management consultancy McKinsey found. Sales in the US hit a record of more than 843 million units in 2021, while last year had the second-highest number sales, at almost 789 million. This increasing popularity was partly because of Gen Z and its social-media trends, including the hashtag #BookTok on TikTok, McKinsey said.


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Reading fiction books can make more empathic people of us

16 March 2023

Jeannie Kidera, writing for Big Think:

The capacity for empathy — to first identify and then understand and share in someone else’s feelings — is largely held as a virtue these days. Yet, philosophically speaking, there is a bit of a knowledge problem that makes being naturally empathetic a struggle. Why? As poet John Keats put it, “Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.”

So how can someone else’s perspective and emotions ever become real enough for us to develop empathy? Reading fiction may provide an answer. Research suggests that fictional books may effectively be empathy-building tools, offering us the closest we can get to first-hand knowledge of someone else’s experience.

To read a chapter out of someone’s life story is to truly walk a mile in their shoes.


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Forget skim reading, novels are best read slowly

16 March 2023

London based writer and reviewer Susie Mesure, writing for The Guardian:

Elizabeth Strout, the Booker-shortlisted author of Olive Kitteridge and the Lucy Barton books, is also taking books at a more tranquil pace. “I was never a fast reader [but] I think I read more slowly than I used to. This is partly to savour every word. The way a sentence sounds to my ear is so important to me in the whole reading experience, and I always want to get it all – like when you read poetry.”

On one hand, I am an impatient reader, on the other though… it can take a while to read a title.


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The value of tsundoku, the value of book hoarding

29 August 2022

Tsundoku is the word of the day. It is a Japanese portmanteau from the nineteenth century, describing the accumulation of books that will never be read. Great stacks of books lying around the house, waiting to be read. Already the thought grates against my minimalist sensibilities.

As American journalist and writer Clive Thompson explains though, all these books — gathering dust as they may be — are a great way to remind ourselves of the stockpile of knowledge in the world. Maybe there are days when it’s easy to believe we know all there is to know. Those same books, sitting there still unread, still gathering dust, which Thompson refers to as an antilibrary, serve to inform us we cannot know it all.

The other part of an antilibrary, though, is that it makes you constantly aware that you could explore more things. By having all those books lying around unread, they trigger curiosity.

All I can think of is trying to move house with a half a library worth of books. I once helped someone in that situation, and all I can say is: never again. I might keep to wandering among the shelves of my local library, when it comes to appreciating how much there is to know in the world.