See you all in 2020

With January fast approaching, we wanted to take a moment to look back over the past twelve months.

2019 marked Readings’ 50th birthday which gave us an excuse to celebrate more than usual this year. As Readings' Managing Director Mark Rubbo expressed in his column reflecting on Readings' history – we love and value being part of this intelligent, compassionate community.

This year also marked some exciting achievements for our staff. Children’s book specialist Kathy Kozlowski was awarded the Pixie O’Harris Award for her contribution to Australian children’s literature, and two staff members saw their debut books released into the wild: Fiona Hardy with How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days and Nina Kenwood with It Sounded Better in My Head. We’re very much looking forward to celebrating another debut book from a Readings bookseller in February of next year – A Couple of Things Before the End from Sean O'Beirne.

It was also another year of blockbuster releases (which year isn’t?) and the most talked-about books at Readings included Margaret Atwood’s long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, a children’s graphic novel from Raina Telgemeier, and Bruce Pascoe’s game-changing work of Australian history (first published in 2014). The popularity of Pascoe’s book is an indication of a bigger trend in Australia towards readers embracing books from First Nations writers – a trend we hope to see continue in 2020.

A special congratulations too to the winners of the three Readings Prizes. Carly Nugent’s warm-hearted middle grade novel, The Peacock Detectives, won the 2019 Readings Children’s Book Prize. Eleni Hale’s stunning YA novel, Stone Girl, won the 2019 Readings Young Adult Book Prize. Alice Robinson’s unforgettable work of climate emergency fiction, The Glad Shout, won the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction.

Robinson’s novel brought home the realities of the climate crisis to Mark so powerfully that he felt compelled to take action in his own life, including encouraging staff to attend the global #SchoolStrike4Climate on the 20th of September, which called for politicians to take action against climate crisis. The reality of climate crisis truly has become a part of daily conversation at Readings, and we hope to continue supporting the young people leading the charge as we move into the new year. It has been a tumultuous year and working to enact change on a community level feels more important than ever.

So thank you to everyone who has supported us this year, whether it was by visiting one of our shops, attending one of our events, flicking through a copy of the Readings Monthly over a coffee, donating to the Readings Foundation, reading our blog, chatting with us online, listening to the Readings Podcast, or, simply bolstering our spirit by a small gesture.

Our blog and social media will be quiet for the next couple of weeks while our digital marketing team – Jackie, Leanne, Bronte and Judi – take a short break. That’s us pictured below, with our extremely talented intern Alfie.

Don’t worry though – regular business on both the blog and social media resumes as normal in January of 2020 and in the meantime, all of our shops (including our online shop!) will be open as per usual.

In the meantime, we’ve compiled a list of bookish recommendations to see you through summer…


Happy holidays, and happy reading.

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The Testaments

The Testaments

Margaret Atwood

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