Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

Trends in reading among Australians

May 26, 2017


This factsheet summarises research findings on the attitudes and behaviours of Australian readers. It is based on evaluation research of the Get Reading! campaign conducted from 2008 to 2012.

The methodology was an online survey by AMR Interactive, with annual sample sizes of around 1,200 to 1,600 people. The sample includes people aged 16 to 64 years who read a book for pleasure in the past three years. It is a national sample, representative by age, gender and state.

Key Findings

This research tracks the trends in reading behaviours among Australian readers around some important questions:

How much are Australians reading?
  • What we are reading and how we read has changed in the past few years, but the amount we are reading has stayed the same.
  • Most people surveyed read at least once last week.
  • Readers using portable reading devices spend more time reading than other readers.
What are we reading?
  • In 2012, over half of the people surveyed read a fiction book and 37 percent read a non-fiction book.
  • Plays and histories have increased in popularity since 2010.
How do we access our reading material?
  • More readers borrow from libraries and use digital technology for reading in 2012 than in 2010. There are fewer readers visiting bookstores, even though two thirds of readers say they enjoy it.
What are our attitudes to reading?
  • Reading is a unique experience for Australian readers. Over 8 readers in every 10 agreed that reading offers them something that TV and computers do not.