“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them” - Mark Twain
2012 is the National Year of Reading in Australia. It is a year where people are encouraged to read more, it is about children learning to read competently at early, and it is for keen readers to discover new authors. The year is about supporting reading initiatives while respecting the oral tradition of storytelling. It is about helping people discover and rediscover the magic of books. Quite importantly, it is about Australians becoming a nation of avid readers. Although Australia’s literacy rate is quoted as 99%, it is unfortunate that nearly half of our population cannot read with any fluency or great confidence.
In order to make Australia a nation of avid readers, it is important for all Australians to understand the benefits of reading as a life skill and a catalyst for well-being. This understanding begins early in life and more at home than in at school. A reading culture should be promoted in every home. There is no better way for children to become readers than for parents and caregivers to share books with their children every day.
State libraries across Australia and all public libraries support all sorts of activities this year in order to promote the National Year of Reading 2012. More information is available in all libraries.
The official launch of the National Year of Reading was on Tuesday 14 February 2012. To celebrate this, 3D pavement chalk artist Jenny McCracken created the 3D book chalk drawing shown above, at the front of the State Library of Western Australia, next to the black-and-white Makigawa sculpture. It appears as 3D only when viewed from a given point. The image was at the State Library only as long as the chalk lasted…
“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.” - Barbara W. Tuchman