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Promoting the love of reading to boost literacy

With nearly half the Australian population struggling with basic literacy for every day life, 2012 has been declared a National Year of Reading by Australia's libraries and library associations.

They are promoting all things books and reading-related in 2012 with programs and events taking place across the country and online with the aim of helping people discover or rediscover the joy of reading.

In the spirit of National Year of Reading 2012, here's a look at some of the activities going on in the near future.

Reading and counting

It is Literacy and Numeracy week, and nationwide events include:
  • Read for Australia – which occurred today at 2pm - a synchronised national reading of Aaron Blabey's Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley;
  • The Dorothea McKellar Poetry Awards, the winners of which will be announced at Gunnedah in NSW on August 31.

Feast of festivals

Turning the page, other events in the NYOR12 include the Melbourne Writers Festival which continues this week. More than 300 writers from around the world are taking part in interviews,     literary banquets, debates, readings, performances and workshops.

The Sydney Jewish Writers' Festival occurred over the weekend, featuring Australian author, columnist and mother of three Kerri Sackville. It also featured a session on how to tackle writing about the horrors of war, with authors Mark Dapin and Elliot Perlman.

The Festival of Indigenous Reading, Writing and Storytelling is on September 8 in Alice Springs. This festival is a celebration of Indigenous Literacy Day, which occurs on September 5 and will feature indigenous storytellers from the heart of Australia sharing their culture through spoken word, art and song.

There's a sample of just a few of the things going on, to find out more check out the National Year of Reading 2012 website  which has a comprehensive and regularly updated list of activities from around the country.

Oh, and if you are Sydneysider don't miss the Newtown Book Fair this Saturday raising funds for Indigenous Literacy. Have a coffee while you are there...

- Josiah Hallett

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