Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sunday Salon: National Year of Reading

Some Sunday's when I sit down to write my Sunday Salon post I have no idea what I am planning to post about. Other weeks I have the one idea so that makes it easier, but the best kind of weeks are those weeks when I have a myriad of ideas to choose from! This week is one of those weeks. I haven't yet posted my reads for December or my reading resolutions for 2012, and I intended to also create a list of possible reads for the Australian Women Writers Challenge and then there is a half written post about something else as well.

Instead though, I want to focus on something that is very exciting. This year in Australia is the ....

Sounds cool right?

There are a number of celebrities including sports people, politicians and authors who have been appointed as ambassadors to helps spread the word about reading.

The aims of National Year of Reading are (from the website):

The National Year of Reading 2012 is about children learning to read and keen readers finding new sources of inspiration. It's about supporting reading initiatives while respecting the oral tradition of storytelling. It's about helping people discover and rediscover the magic of books. And most of all, it's about Australians becoming a nation of readers.

Nearly half our population can't read with any fluency. It's a shameful and worrying statistic. We've identified three goals which will help us turn Australia into a nation of readers and encourage a reading culture in every home:

  • For all Australians to understand the benefits of reading as a life skill and a catalyst for well-being;
  • To promote a reading culture in every home; and
  • To establish an aspirational goal for families, of parents and caregivers sharing books with their children every day.

Next year will see a whole heap of amazing, fun, reading activities taking place around Australia and online, so people of all ages, from different backgrounds, can discover and rediscover the joy of reading.
In addition, the organisation behind the National Year of Reading are raising funds for two very good causes - the Indigenous Literacy Foundation which aims to promote literacy to indigenous people in Australia, and the Pyjama Foundation which is actually a new organisation to me that aims to provide volunteers to read to children in care every day.

There are lots of activities that are going to take place during the year. So far, there has been a popular vote for the books that represent each state.

There's lots happening, and it is very exciting to see what happens next with this great opportunity to promote the value of reading here in Australia.

The last couple of weeks I have forgotten to add the details of what I am currently reading and what's up next!

Currently Reading

Olivia and Jai by Rebecca Ryman (set in colonial India) and Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh (for my romance book club).

Reading Next

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon.


  1. Wow, nearly half the population can't read with any fluency? That sounds scary though I wonder exactly what they mean by "with any fluency"?

    Sounds like a fantastic initiative though and very exciting. I'm all for the promotion of the awesomeness of reading!

  2. To be honest, I am not 100% sure where that stat came from because it does seem to be quite high. Maybe it comes down to a definition of reading fluently or something!

  3. That does sound cool! I wish we had a program like that going here. We do have the the National Book Festival though so I guess that counts for something....

  4. Sounds like a great plan! I hope you have a great reading week.

  5. I feel so happy for all of you in Australia! A National Year of Reading! Wow. That's fabulous.

    Here is my Sunday Salon. I hope you will stop by!

  6. I'm curious about the fluency as well...I'm constantly reading positive things about the educational progress in Australia...I'd like to look into this academic self can't stand but to be nosy ;)

  7. This sounds like such a great initiative, I know if were there I'd be catching the fever. As it is, I'll do my bit from here ;) And if I can encourage in any small way my baby growing up to be a reader - which seems harder for boys than girls - then I'll be happy!

  8. It would be cool if some of our writers were placed on the same pedestal that our sports people are. Was reading some Lucy Sussex the other day and noted her list of achievements. If she we a sports woman she'd be the equivalent of a gold medal Olympian same for Sean Williams and a host of other award winning authors.

    More readers would help



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