Book Industry COVID-19 Response

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s book industry is acting rapidly.

A lot has wisely been put on hold for the interests of community health and safety. But as bookshops, publishers, libraries and authors – we’re still here to bring books that educate, inform, entertain and inspire Australians.

We want to make sure Australians of all ages are still learning, feeding their imaginations, finding meaning in stories, and still connecting with others – we believe reading and books play a key role in that.

Why are books essential to our wellbeing?

The Government’s immediate priority must be on health and security. But there are other urgent needs that will determine how well Australia recovers from the crisis. Parents need to care for their children: to keep them learning, as well as to entertain and to inspire them. The vulnerable and those living by themselves need protection from loneliness and isolation.

We believe millions of Australians need to be sustained emotionally and intellectually during this time.

Books can help with those needs. We know:

  • Reading books helps combat loneliness and isolation and is powerfully effective in reducing stress
  • Literacy is critical to a child’s future and reading aloud is one of the most beneficial things a parent can do for a child
  • Access to resources affects learning outcomes
  • Reading fosters empathy and social skills

Below, you will find ways that the industry is responding and helping Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Here’s the libraries official response to COVID-19 and their pandemic resource page. Our libraries may be physically closed, but they’re open in spirit and have many resources for people to access online.

As part of a special Books Create Australia agreement, we’ve broadened and removed barriers for accessing online Storytimes.

If you’d like more ideas about what resources you can access from your libraries online, this ABC Life article has plenty of tips and ideas from your friendly neighbourhood librarians.


Here’s the Australian Society of Authors official response to COVID-19 and their pandemic resource page. They’re looking at ways to keep writers working during these times.

The ASA is distributing grants to assist with expenses for authors impacted by COVID-19 with the Writers Benevolent Fund.

They are also calling out for authors to fill out a survey on the COVID-19 impacts on author incomes.


Here’s the ABA’s resources and response to COVID-19.

Consumers have been urged to buy local – as booksellers are quite vulnerable during this time.

If you want information about where your local bookstores are, their opening hours and delivery options are – you can visit this database put together by the ABA and Books+Publishing.

Book supply chains are still running – to ensure our bookstores are stocked up and ready to ship out books to everyone.


The APA has set up a special COVID-19 information and news page – which will be updated regularly.

The Australian Publishers Association is working to help keep the book business running – providing important information to everyone involved in making books, ensuring that cash flow and distribution and supply chains continue.

Working with libraries, authors and booksellers, publishers are promoting books and reading to the Australian public.

It’s amping up the Australia Reads campaign and Books Create Australia to help champion books and reading.

Books Create Australia is currently talking to the government, making sure they know that we love our books – and that we think books are still important and should be supported during this time.

Australia Reads initiative

As an industry, we’re supporting these activities with the #AustraliaReadsAtHome campaign – which is part of the bigger Australia Reads project. It’s here to champion the power of reading and literacy.

The #AustraliaReadsAtHome hashtag can be followed and used to promote the many benefits of reading to those who are going into quarantine or self-isolation. It’s also a great way to keep younger ones entertained if schools are closed.

The Australia Reads festival begins Tuesday 1 September 2020 and culminates with the main event, Australian Reading Hour on Thursday 17 September. Find out more about Australia Reads.

Stay up to date and join the Books Create Australia community

Want to get involved? Want to know more?

Bookmark the Books Create Australia page, follow us on social media, and subscribe to our newsletter if you would like to keep up-to-date with what the book industry is doing during these times.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on this website or have some good news to share, fill out this form or please email

You can also follow us on Twitter for more news.

For more specific information you can visit these websites:

And as always, stay in if you can, stay safe, look after each other, and stay connected.

We’ll be doing our best to keep bringing you books – we’ll be sharing news about what the book community is doing during these challenging times.

Thanks for supporting us and being a part of it.

Australia Reads and Australian Reading Hour

Illustration of a family reading inside under a tent made of sheetsAbout Australia Reads

Australia Reads is a unique Australian book industry collaboration (between authors, booksellers, libraries and publishers) borne of a common passion for, and mutual interest in, championing reading, promoting the many mental health and lifestyle benefits of reading books, and encouraging the next generation of avid book readers.

Everything we do, we believe in championing reading. We believe reading is the key to a smarter, healthier, happier nation. The way we champion reading is by curating a content and events platform that is informed by research, beautifully designed for all ages, and a conduit for connecting with businesses, communities, organisations and schools. And we just happen to have Australia’s great authors on our books – quite literally.

By positioning Australia Reads as an always on initiative, Books Create Australia (an alliance between ALIA, the ABA, APA and ASA) aims to significantly increase book reading by all Australians – no matter the format they read.

About Australian Reading Hour

Illustration of a family and a koala being recommended books by a bookseller in front of bookshelves
Ilustrations by Beck Feiner

Originally conceived by a coalition of Australian libraries and library associations as part of the National Year of Reading in 2012, the Australian Reading Hour began as an event for all Australians to set aside one hour on the same day to read – whatever they wanted, wherever they were located, and however they chose to read.

Since then, it has become an annual event encouraging all Australians to read for one hour through events with Australian authors at libraries and bookshops, in schools, and even in shopping centres and on public transport.

As the signature event for Australia Reads, the Australian Reading Hour is a showcase celebrated by authors, booksellers, libraries and publishers alike for drawing attention to the importance of reading in transforming lives.

Find out more about Australia Reads

Learn more about Australia Reads, find branding resources and more information on holding your own Australia Reads and Australian Reading Hour events on the website –