See you all in 2019
2018 is coming to a close and we’d like to take a moment to express our gratitude to all of you have supported us during these past 12 months.
Thank you to everyone who has dropped by one of our shops, attended one of our events (or visited us at a festival or conference), flicked through a copy of the Readings Monthly, donated to the Readings Foundation, read our blog, chatted with us online, listened to the Readings Podcast, or supported us in any number of the wonderful ways that you do.
2018 has seen a lot of change at Readings. The brand-new Supernova cafe opened up at Readings Hawthorn, complete with extremely delicious muffins. Readings State Library moved to a beautiful new location at the State Library Victoria’s Russell St entrance on 285-321 Russell Street as part of the library’s Vision 2020 redevelopment project. And Readings Carlton received a stunning new renovation by Nest architects.
This year also saw Readings named Independent Book Retailer of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs), and we were absolutely delighted that Readings' own Dani Solomon was named a finalist for Young Bookseller of the Year as well. If you’ve ever shopped at Readings Kids you’ve likely experienced Dani’s passion for children’s books first-hand.
The Melbourne Prize, which alternates between literature, music and urban sculpture, was focused on literature this past year, and we were pleased to be one of the supporters of a new opportunity for early-career authors. The inaugural winner of the Readings Residency Award was Melbourne writer Jamie Marina Lau.
Lau’s inventive debut novel, Pink Mountain on Locust Island, was also shortlisted for the 2018 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction – one of three annual literary prizes run by Readings. The overall winner of our fiction prize was Jennifer Down, for her exquisite story collection Pulse Points. Jo Sandhu’s Stone Age epic, Tarin of the Mammoths: The Exile, won the Readings Children’s Book Prize, while Erin Gough’s smart, feminist rom-com, Amelia Westlake, won the Readings Young Adult Book Prize.
Managing Director Mark Rubbo also took home a prize this year. He was jointly awarded the Emerging Philanthropy Leadership Award for his contribution to the Wheeler Centre’s Hot Desk Fellowships. We’re pleased to share these fellowships will once again be supported by the Readings Foundation in 2019, alongside eight other organisations. It was humbling to see the work done by this year’s recipients, and an extra thank you to all the customers who came along to help us celebrate the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s launch of three bilingual editions of the award-winning My Two Blankets picture book.
Finally, we were thrilled that no less than FOUR of Readings staff members signed publishing contracts for their debut books this year. Congratulations to Fiona Hardy, Nina Kenwood, Gerard Elson and Sean O'Beirne. We can’t wait to get our hands on your titles in 2019 and 2020.
Our blog and social media will be quiet for the next couple of weeks while our digital marketing team takes a short break. This is us pictured below, all looking slightly dishevelled and fevered, and terribly distracted. Don’t worry though! We’ll be back in 2019, refreshed and ready for another year of brilliant books, and in the meantime, all of our shops (including our online shop) will be open as per usual.
We’ve also compiled a list of bookish recommendations to see you through summer…
- 100 great reads by Australian women in 2018
- The best smart summer reads of the year
- A selection of 2018 literary prize winners
- Sci-fi & fantasy to read at the beach
- Books that made us cry
- Books that made us laugh
- Books that made our skin crawl
- Books that kept us on the edge of our seats
- YA books ideal for book clubs
- Children’s books that teach resilience
Happy holidays, and happy reading!
We’ll see you all again in 2019, which also happens to be the year that Readings celebrates its 50th birthday. Looks like another big year ahead.