Sunday, July 01, 2007

promoting books and reading

Juliet Rogers and Maree McCaskill have been running a roadshow around Australia promoting the APA and its doings to stakeholders. It's a terrific undertaking and thanks to Julilet and everybody for being prepared to put so much time and effort into it. My comments that follow are in parts of the fruits of that progressive and democratic initiative.

Last Wednesday was the Melbourne meeting and, as the press was there, I'm sure its discussions are not confidential. In fact it was the press in the form of Andrew Wilkins who raised the point I want to blog about. Why in the list of objectives in the strategic plan is there nothing about promoting the book and reading? And that's a point that resonated with me in my children's publishing silo - I can here it echo.

Promoting books and reading is one of the core tasks for me of the APA and the Children's Committee of the APA, and a major reason I joined. It's what we're all about as publishers - more books, more readers, another generation. Its like the Age promoting newspapers to schools - it's guaranteeing a future, that we will be around for another generation. And I thought the promotion of the book and reading would resonate with the education publishing (especially primary education publishing) silo next to me.

Maybe it is something that comes first to the minds of children's publishers, since we're not relying on an existing generation of readers.

Books Alive is a great beginning to build on.

Promoting reading and books was always a hot topic for Agnes Niewenhuizen. Let me quote: "There isn't a reading culture. We don't have any kind of concerted national program. Our promotion of books is very poor. [Im interpreting book in a generic sense.] Reading is not valued in schools. We are losing librarians, And with very notable exceptions, I think things are slipping."

1 comment:

lili said...

we're trying!

And I have to respectfully disagree about Books Alive. I really don't think it does anything that your average bookshop catalogue doesn't do. How does it make non-readers interested in reading? By giving them a free book? Borders does that too.

I asked my teenage book group the other day if they had heard of the Books Alive program. Not one of them had. And they are all very keen, bright, switched-on readers.