On Thursday 20 September 2018 all Australians are encouraged to pick up a book and escape into its pages for an hour. It’s Australian Reading Hour – a wonderful opportunity to rediscover or introduce yourself to the benefits and magic of reading. And if you’re already a regular reader, you have the perfect excuse to just stop what you’re doing and relax into a book. It doesn’t matter what time of day you choose, or where you are – just dedicate one hour to the cause, and to yourself.
Australian Reading Hour encourages young, lapsed and committed readers to escape, relax, learn and experience the wonderful world of books. If you’re a parent or carer, it’s a perfect chance to read to your children, or have them read to you. Reading increases literacy and numeracy skills, and has been shown to help with identity formation in children, setting them up for success in the future. Readers of fiction also achieve significantly higher results than other readers in empathy tests. The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research found that reading to children six or seven days a week puts them almost a year ahead of those who are not being read to. So the benefits go well beyond the time spent reading.
And reading is not just beneficial for children.
Reading reduces stress by 68%, and more quickly than listening to music, going for a walk or having a cup of tea.  And if you read a gripping novel, the positive biological changes in the brain can last for days.
The more leisure books people read, the more literate they become, and the more prosperous and equitable the society they inhabit.
Reading is one activity that everyone agrees is good for you – it does not attract the controversy of screen time or fad diets, and has withstood the test of time, with people reading for thousands of years. And it’s more fun than eating veggies!
Explore State Library’s collection of books and ebooks through our One Search catalogue.
Take the time to relax
Take the time to learn
Take the time to grow
Take the time to escape
What will you read for Australian Reading Hour?
Librarian, Information Services
Australian Reading Hour: https://www.readinghour.org.au/
Visit us: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/visit-us
 University of Minnesota. (2016). Reading for stress relief.