Australia Reads: National Reading Survey supports Australian stories

National Reading Survey: readers support Australian stories

Reading books and its benefits: making us smarter, healthier, happier.

Research shows that reading books can be a great way to improve your cognitive abilities, relax your body and lower your heart rate, and even enhance how happy you are with life.

Australia Reads has compiled relevant research on how reading is key to being smarter, healthier and happier.

Joseph Addison knew it back in the late 1600s. Before the science existed to back it up he wrote “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the soul”1.

Of course, literature, technology and our lifestyles have come a long way We’ve moved ink block pressing and papyrus scrolls2  to e-books and e-readers, and have integrated reading into our busy lives. But what hasn’t been lost, and what never will be lost, are  the profound effects that reading books, reading  stories, has on us.

These days there is more knowledge about the benefits of reading books. The evidence is growing, supporting what a lot of us bookish-types already experience.

Reading books makes us smarter, happier, and healthier.

“From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could a read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.

— Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (p.209)

The National Reading Survey collected data from 3043 respondents, comprising 1041 general readers (representative of the general Australian population over the age of 16), and 2002 engaged readers (representative of readers who are engaged with book related news). Its mission was to try to understand reader behaviour, including how consumers choose books to read and whether the pandemic has had an impact on their reading habits.

Read more about Australia Reads here.