Australia’s book sales and book club picks tell us what we read and, by implication, who we are.

Australians are great readers. Book sales are rising and in 2018 increased by 1.4% in value and 1.3% in volume.

According to the Australia Council’s 2016 report, “nine in 10 Australia enjoy pleasure and seven in 10 would like to spend more time reading books”.

With this great interest in reading, what can we learn about Australian society and culture?

The concerns of Australians about financial security were evident with Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor topping Australian book sales in both 2017 and 2018.  It was the best-selling book for 33 weeks and no in the 2018 Nielsen Christmas Bestsellers list.

Australian authors are popular, with four local titles on the Nielsen Christmas Bestsellers List and half of the top 20 titles written by Australians.

The genres of crime and mystery are rising in popularity, with the crime/mystery/thriller category being the most popular.

Andrea Simpson is a Filipino-Australian writer who loves diverse Australian stories, all forms of art, and especially the publishing sector.

More information is available in "What Australian reading habits and book trends reveal about our culture" by Andrea Simpson, Publishing ArtsHub, 22 February 2019: