Bookstores get creative as #AustraliaReadsAtHome

Want to support your local bookstore? Check out the ABA’s Love Your Bookshop page to find out what local booksellers are doing near you! This list from Simon and Schuster is pretty handy too. Or check out this article from Books + Publishing. We’re also loving all the bookstore love popping up on social media including #BackYourBookshop.

This is by no means a comprehensive list – and we’ll be updating this page with more bookstore goodness – and you should check out the Australia Booksellers Association’s page for the most up-to-date information.

If you’re a bookseller and you’re doing something great or you’ve noticed one of your local bookstores’ great initiatives, we’d love to hear from you – so contact Robyn from the ABA and Colin from the APA!

So why read during this time?

There’s heaps of research out there about why books are great for people who are lonely, stressed, isolated and staying in– and these days – it might be hard to go to a bookstore. But as the old, imaginary adage goes – if you can’t get to the books, let the books come to you.

Whether it’s click and collect drive-thru, or stylish bicycle book couriers offering free and quick delivery – it’s a great time to buy local. 

You’re also helping our local and independent booksellers survive – and they are crucial parts of our book ecosystem.

If you’re a bookseller or a local business owner, or someone who just is interested in supporting books during this tough time – here’s just a few examples of innovative ideas from our local stores!

Books and bikes: special deliveries from booksellers

Can’t get to the books? Let them come to you… by bicycle.

Here’s the view from a book delivery from the Sun Bookshop in Yarraville

If you order from Avid Reader Bookshop in Brissy – there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get these fine folk giving you fine books on their fine bikes. There’s a 100% chance that local delivery is free.

Sydneysiders are spoilt for choice when it comes to great indie booksellers! Here’s some of them that are offering free, same-day bicycle delivery!

Not only can you get bicycle delivery from Better Read Than Dead in their local suburbs, they’re also offering (more traditional) postal delivery for free nationwide

Here’s Nerida from Gleebooks – apparently they’ll get you your books whether rain, hail or shine – and judging by those waterproof panniers and knowing Nerida’s riding skills, we believe them!

And of course, you can’t talk about Sydney without talking about Melbourne – so here’s a whole article in Broadsheet about bookstores from Bellarine to Brunswick doing same day delivery.

Check out if there’s some stores near you that are also offering novel ways of delivering books. (We couldn’t help ourselves)

Would you like books with that? 

While some have had to close their physical doors (and yes we’re going to have to wait before we can experience the joy of browsing shelves of books), heaps are still open in spirit – or in some creative cases – open with drive-thru windows!

Riverbend books in classic, laid-back Queenslander style is showing us one way to do tap and go!

Loving this click and collect window and table set-up from Potts Point Bookshop in NSW

We love reading books in cafes… but what if… a bookstore and a cafe combined forces – and created a cafe and grocery and books goody box? Say no more because Queensland’s Alphabet Cafe has done precisely that with the Avid Reader Bookstore!

And some bookshops are offering things online – and in multiple languages

Check out these bilingual storytimes from Western Sydney’s Lost In Books – the bookstore arm of an arts and social organisation that supports refugees and newly arrived families with diverse cultures and language backgrounds.

They’re also doing world book tours and musical livestreams on their YouTube channel – so check it out, support them and donate!

And we wish this service from the Younger Sun was real!


They are still delivering though, and that’s not a joke.

And some booksellers like The Leaf Bookshop – are really upping their social media game!

Why read?

In addition to being an immersive and enjoyable activity, we can harp on about the research about the benefits of reading: 

  • Helps us escape
  • Reduces feelings of loneliness and stress
  • Helps us learn new things
  • Connects to people without being physically present

Books Create Australia is also helping build Australia Reads and #AustraliaReadsAtHome. So come on, and get involved! We’d love to have you and the young people in your life reading more.


Schools Storytime arrangement

A special arrangement for school storytimes during the COVID-19 outbreak has been announced by the APA, ASA and the National Copyright Unit.

We believe that all children should be able to enjoy books and stories from their earliest years – and to have this available to everyone, including those without books at home.

What does this mean for teachers?

If you’re a teacher, you’ll be able to continue to read stories to students, whether they’re learning from school or at home.

Schools are now encouraged to livestream storytimes so children won’t miss out on this important and much-loved activity.

Usually, teachers are able to read stories to students in class. Now that classrooms are moving online – things that relate to copyright become a bit more uncertain, so the APA, the ASA, and schools wish to clear up any doubts about how rules apply to remote learning.

So the APA and ASA have asked their publisher and author members to suspend permission requirements for the duration of the pandemic.

What’s the best and fairest way to do storytimes at your school?

  1. Livestream wherever possible – such as Google Classroom, a Zoom call, or Facebook live streaming.
  2. If streaming is not practical – you can make a recording as long as:
    • The recording is “view only” – so no other copies can be made or downloaded.
    • Wherever possible the recording is made available in a password protected access in a digital teaching environment
  3. Provide the book details at the beginning of any livestream or recording – so:
    • Title
    • Author
    • Illustrator
    • Publishers
  4. This policy is temporary – and remains while schools are providing remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency or the conclusion of term 2 (whichever is earlier). Once school resumes normal teaching practices – the Storytime arrangement will no longer be active.

Using these Storytime arrangements, we hope that teachers and educators will be empowered to use Australian made books and to support Australian creators, authors, publishers and booksellers.

If teachers need further information about this Storytime Agreement, or have copyright questions regarding COVID 19, please contact NCU:

Great! I want to do a Storytime – where can I find some ideas?

If you’d like ideas about how to do a Storytime – take a look at these resources:

Want to get involved in a conversation about reading at home? You can also follow and add to the #AustraliaReadsAtHome campaign.

For ASA enquiries, please contact Lucy Hayward, Marketing & Communications Manager:

For APA enquiries please contact Colin Ho, Public Relations & External Communications:

Books Create Australia responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

To find the latest health news on COVID-19 visit the Department of Health website.

Further information may be available from the State or Territory health departments: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

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?

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.

We understand that the immediate priority is on health and security, but the arts is crucial to our wellbeing during the crisis and recovery afterwards. We need to books to help people young and old to keep learning. We need stories to nourish, to entertain and to inspire.

We need books to sustain us and keep us connected during this time.

Books can help with those needs. We know:

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


Here’s the libraries’ COVID-19 resource and response page. It includes:

They are still providing their crucial services, and have many resources for people to access online and remotely.

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

If you’d like more ideas about what what you can do with your libraries online, this ABC Life article has plenty of tips and ideas from actual librarians.


The ASA are updating the community as regularly as possible on their news page in regards to their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re looking at ways to support writers during this time, and are continuing to participate in roundtable discussions with the Australia Council and Office for the Arts. They are calling out for authors to fill in this survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on author incomes in order to provide essential data to the government.
While the ASA does not administer the Writers Benevolent Fund, they are proud of their longtime association with the Trustees and encourage authors affected by COVID-19 to apply for funding, where they are eligible.
The ASA are also looking to inspire authors and illustrators with ideas on how to adapt during this difficult time by listing positive initiatives from the arts sector in Australia and across the globe.


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

They’ve got information and resources for:

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

If you want information about your local bookstore, opening hours, delivery options and other vital information – 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.

Educational publishers have stepped up to help schools and other educational providers transition into online learning – you can read more about what they’re doing in terms of improving access, offering free content and other forms of support.

Publishers are also putting funding and resources into promoting reading and the book industry. Which brings us to the next point – Australia Reads.

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.

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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.